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Peer Effects in Risk Aversion

  • Ana I. Balsa


  • Néstor Gandelman
  • Nicolás Gonzalez

Using data on Uruguayan adolescents, we estimate peer effects in risk attitudes. Relative risk aversion is elicited in an experimental setting. Identification is based on parents not being able to choose the class within the school of their choice. After controlling for school-grade fixed effect and addressing endogeneity due to simultaneity, we find a significant and quantitative large impact of peers on individuals risk aversion. An increase in one standard deviation of the group risk aversion produces an increase in 44-64% on an individual risk aversion. These findings enhance the importance of multiplicative effects related to risk behavior.

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Paper provided by Facultad de Ciencias Empresariales y Economia. Universidad de Montevideo. in its series Documentos de Trabajo/Working Papers with number 1205.

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Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mnt:wpaper:1205
Contact details of provider: Postal: Prudencio de Pena 2440, Montevideo 11600
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  1. Clark, Andrew E. & Loheac, Youenn, 2007. ""It wasn't me, it was them!" Social influence in risky behavior by adolescents," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 763-784, July.
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  10. Lundborg, Petter, 2006. "Having the wrong friends? Peer effects in adolescent substance use," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 214-233, March.
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  16. Lilian Ng & Fei Wu, 2010. "Peer Effects in the Trading Decisions of Individual Investors," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 39(2), pages 807-831, 06.
  17. Jinyong Hahn & Jerry Hausman & Guido Kuersteiner, 2004. "Estimation with weak instruments: Accuracy of higher-order bias and MSE approximations," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 7(1), pages 272-306, 06.
  18. Hansen, Lars Peter & Heaton, John & Yaron, Amir, 1996. "Finite-Sample Properties of Some Alternative GMM Estimators," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 14(3), pages 262-80, July.
  19. Powell, Lisa M. & Tauras, John A. & Ross, Hana, 2005. "The importance of peer effects, cigarette prices and tobacco control policies for youth smoking behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 950-968, September.
  20. Barsky, Robert B, et al, 1997. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 537-79, May.
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