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Risk-taking in social settings: Group and peer effects

  • Spiros Bougheas

    ()

    (School of Economics, University of Nottingham)

  • Jeroen Nieboer

    ()

    (School of Economics, University of Nottingham)

  • Martin Sefton

    ()

    (School of Economics, University of Nottingham)

We investigate experimentally the effect of consultation (unincentivized advice) on choices under risk in an incentivized investment task. We compare consultation to two benchmark treatments: one with isolated individual choices, and a second with group choice after communication. Our benchmark treatments replicate findings that groups take more risk than individuals in the investment task; content analysis of group discussions reveals that higher risktaking in groups is positively correlated with mentions of expected value. In our consultation treatments, we find evidence of peer effects: decisions within the peer group are significantly correlated. However, average risk-taking after consultation is not significantly different from isolated individual choices. We also find that risk-taking after consultation is not affected by adding a feedback stage in which subjects see the choices of their consultation peers.

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Paper provided by The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham in its series Discussion Papers with number 2013-04.

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Date of creation: Apr 2013
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Handle: RePEc:not:notcdx:2013-04
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