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Group and individual risk preferences : a lottery-choice experiment

This paper focuses on decision making under risk, comparing group and individual risk preferences in a lottery-choice experiment inspired by Holt and Laury (2002). The experiment presents subjects with a menu of unordered lottery choices which allows us to measure risk aversion. In the individual treatment, subjects make lottery choices individually ; in the group treatment, each subject was placed in an anonymous group of three, where unanimous lottery choice decisions were made via voting. Finally, in a third treatment, called the choice treatment, subjects could choose whether to be on their own or in a group. our main findings are that groups are more likely than individuals to choose safe lotteries for decisions with low winning percentages. Moreover, groups converge toward less risky decisions because subjects who were relatively less risk averse were more likely to change their vote in order to conform to the group average decision ; more risk-averse individuals were less likely to change their preferences. Finally our results reveal a positive relationship between preference for risk and willingness to decide alone.

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File URL: ftp://mse.univ-paris1.fr/pub/mse/cahiers2006/Bla06063.pdf
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Paper provided by Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1) in its series Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques with number bla06063.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2004
Date of revision: Sep 2006
Handle: RePEc:mse:wpsorb:bla06063
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  1. Matthias Sutter, 2004. "Are four heads better than two? An experimental beauty-contest game with teams of different size," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2004-15, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  2. Glenn W Harrison & John A List & Charles Towe, 2007. "Naturally Occurring Preferences and Exogenous Laboratory Experiments: A Case Study of Risk Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(2), pages 433-458, 03.
  3. Bone, John, 1998. "Risk-sharing CARA individuals are collectively EU," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 311-317, March.
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  5. Barton H. Hamilton & Jack A. Nickerson & Hideo Owan, 2003. "Team Incentives and Worker Heterogeneity: An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Teams on Productivity and Participation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(3), pages 465-497, June.
  6. Alan S. Blinder & John Morgan, 2000. "Are Two Heads Better Than One?: An Experimental Analysis of Group vs. Individual Decisionmaking," NBER Working Papers 7909, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Gary Bornstein & Tamar Kugler & Anthony Ziegelmeyer, 2002. "Individual and Group Decisions in the Centipede Game: Are Groups More “Rational” Players?," Discussion Paper Series dp298, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
  8. Kocher, Martin & Strau[ss], Sabine & Sutter, Matthias, 2006. "Individual or team decision-making--Causes and consequences of self-selection," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 259-270, August.
  9. Ronald J. Baker II & Susan K. Laury & Arlington W. Williams, 2008. "Comparing Small-Group and Individual Behavior in Lottery-Choice Experiments," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 367-382, October.
  10. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  11. Martin G. Kocher & Matthias Sutter, 2004. "The Decision Maker Matters: Individual versus Group Behaviour in Experimental Beauty-Contest Games," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2004-09, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  12. Robert S. Shupp & Arlington Williams, 2003. "Risk Preference Differentials of Small Groups and Individuals," Working Papers 200301, Ball State University, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2006.
  13. Rockenbach, Bettina & Sadrieh, Abdolkarim & Mathauschek, Barbara, 2007. "Teams take the better risks," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 412-422, July.
  14. Prather, Larry J. & Middleton, Karen L., 2002. "Are N+1 heads better than one?: The case of mutual fund managers," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 103-120, January.
  15. Bone, John & Hey, John & Suckling, John, 1999. "Are Groups More (or Less) Consistent Than Individuals?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 63-81, April.
  16. John Bone & John Hey & John Suckling, . "A Simple Risk-Sharing Experiment," Discussion Papers 00/36, Department of Economics, University of York.
  17. Glenn W. Harrison & Eric Johnson & Melayne M. McInnes & E. Elisabet Rutstr�m, 2005. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 897-901, June.
  18. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
  19. Cason, Timothy N & Mui, Vai-Lam, 1997. "A Laboratory Study of Group Polarisation in the Team Dictator Game," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(444), pages 1465-83, September.
  20. Jayson L. Lusk & Keith H. Coble, 2005. "Risk Perceptions, Risk Preference, and Acceptance of Risky Food," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(2), pages 393-405.
  21. James C. Cox & Stephen C. Hayne, . "Barking Up the Right Tree: Are Small Groups Rational Agents?," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2006-02, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  22. Matthias Sutter & Martin Kocher & Sabine Strau?, . "Individuals and teams in UMTS-license auctions," Working Papers 2007-23, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  23. David J. Cooper & John H. Kagel, 2005. "Are Two Heads Better Than One? Team versus Individual Play in Signaling Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 477-509, June.
  24. Gary Bornstein & Ilan Yaniv, 1998. "Individual and Group Behavior in the Ultimatum Game: Are Groups More “Rational†Players?," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 101-108, June.
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