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Risk Preferences in the PSID: Individual Imputations and Family Covariation

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  • Miles S. Kimball
  • Claudia R. Sahm
  • Matthew D. Shapiro

Abstract

Survey measures of preference parameters provide a means for accounting for otherwise unobserved heterogeneity.This paper presents measures of relative risk tolerance based on responses to survey questions about hypothetical gambles over lifetime income.It discusses how to impute estimates of utility function parameters from the survey responses using a statistical model that accounts for survey response error. There is substantial heterogeneity in true preference parameters even after survey response error is taken into account.The paper discusses how to use the preference parameters imputed from the survey responses in regression models as a control for differences in preferences across individuals. This paper focuses on imputations for respondents in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID).It also studies the covariation of risk preferences among members of households.It finds fairly strong covariation in attitudes about risk -- between parents and children and especially between siblings and between spouses.

Suggested Citation

  • Miles S. Kimball & Claudia R. Sahm & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2009. "Risk Preferences in the PSID: Individual Imputations and Family Covariation," NBER Working Papers 14754, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14754
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kimball, Miles S & Sahm, Claudia R & Shapiro, Matthew D, 2008. "Imputing Risk Tolerance From Survey Responses," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103(483), pages 1028-1038.
    2. Ulrike Malmendier & Stefan Nagel, 2011. "Depression Babies: Do Macroeconomic Experiences Affect Risk Taking?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 373-416.
    3. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2012. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Risk and Trust Attitudes," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(2), pages 645-677.
    4. Miles S. Kimball & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2008. "Labor Supply: Are the Income and Substitution Effects Both Large or Both Small?," NBER Working Papers 14208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C42 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Survey Methods
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

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