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Regional Variation In Risk And Time Preferences: Evidence From A Large-Scale Field Experiment In Rural Uganda

Author

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  • Yuki Tanaka

    (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies)

  • Alistair Munro

    (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies)

Abstract

Experiments measuring risk and time preferences in developing countries have tended to have relatively small samples and geographically concentrated sampling. This large-scale field experiment uses a Holt-Laury mechanism to elicit the preferences of 1289 randomly selected subjects from 94 villages covering six out of seven agro-climatic zones across rural Uganda. As in previous studies we find evidence of risk aversion and loss aversion amongst most subjects. In addition we find significant heterogeneity in risk attitudes across agro-climatic zones. Especially, the farmers in the agro-climatically least favourable zone, the uni-modal rainfall zone, are the most risk averse, loss averse and impatient. We also find significant relationships between risk attitudes and village level predictors such as the distance to town and the road conditions. After controlling for the village level factors, we find that the level of schooling still positively correlates with the individual’s level of loss tolerance and patience. The main results are not altered by allowing for probability weighting in subjects’ choices. Overall the results provide clear evidence that within one country there may be significant regional variations in risk and time attitudes. We conjecture that the agro-climatic conditions that affect farmers’ livelihoods may also affect their risk and time preferences and village level development in infrastructure could improve the household perception of investment related policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Yuki Tanaka & Alistair Munro, 2012. "Regional Variation In Risk And Time Preferences: Evidence From A Large-Scale Field Experiment In Rural Uganda," GRIPS Discussion Papers 11-19, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ngi:dpaper:11-19
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Esther Duflo & Michael Kremer & Jonathan Robinson, 2011. "Nudging Farmers to Use Fertilizer: Theory and Experimental Evidence from Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2350-2390, October.
    2. Steffen Andersen & Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau & E. Elisabet Rutström, 2008. "Eliciting Risk and Time Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(3), pages 583-618, May.
    3. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
    4. Tomomi Tanaka & Colin F. Camerer & Quang Nguyen, 2010. "Risk and Time Preferences: Linking Experimental and Household Survey Data from Vietnam," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 557-571, March.
    5. Mette Wik & Tewodros Aragie Kebede & Olvar Bergland & Stein Holden, 2004. "On the measurement of risk aversion from experimental data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(21), pages 2443-2451.
    6. Mahmud Yesuf & Randall A. Bluffstone, 2009. "Poverty, Risk Aversion, and Path Dependence in Low-Income Countries: Experimental Evidence from Ethiopia," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1022-1037.
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    8. Maribeth Coller & Melonie Williams, 1999. "Eliciting Individual Discount Rates," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 2(2), pages 107-127, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kenta Tanaka & Keisaku Higashida & Arvin Vista & Anton Setyo Nugroho & Budi Muhamad Ruslan, 2016. "Do resource depletion experiences affect social cooperative preferences? Analysis using field experimental data on fishers in the Philippines and Indonesia," Discussion Paper Series 143, School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University, revised Jun 2016.
    2. Epper, Thomas, 2015. "Income Expectations, Limited Liquidity, and Anomalies in Intertemporal Choice," Economics Working Paper Series 1519, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    3. Verschoor, Arjan & D’Exelle, Ben & Perez-Viana, Borja, 2016. "Lab and life: Does risky choice behaviour observed in experiments reflect that in the real world?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 134-148.
    4. Holden , Stein, 2014. "Risky Choices of Poor People: Comparing Risk Preference Elicitation Approaches in Field Experiments," CLTS Working Papers 10/14, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Centre for Land Tenure Studies.
    5. Yuki Tanaka & Takashi Yamano, 2015. "Risk and Time Preference on Schooling:Experimental Evidence from a Low-Income Country," GRIPS Discussion Papers 14-24, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.

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