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Joker: Choice in a simple game with large stakes

Author

Listed:
  • Egil Matsen

    () (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)

  • Bjarne Strøm

    () (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)

Abstract

This paper examines data from the Norwegian television game show Joker, where contestants make well-specified choices under risk. The game involves very large stakes, randomly drawn contestants, and ample opportunities for learning. Expected utility (EU) theory gives a simple prediction of choice under weak conditions, as one choice is always first-order stochastically dominating. We document frequent, systematic and costly violations of dominance. Most alternative theories fail to add explanatory power beyond the EU benchmark, but many contestants appear to have a systematic expectation bias that can be related to Tversky and Kahneman?s (1973) "availability heuristic". In addition, there seems to be a stochastic element in choice that is well captured by the so-called Fechner model.

Suggested Citation

  • Egil Matsen & Bjarne Strøm, 2006. "Joker: Choice in a simple game with large stakes," Working Paper Series 8307, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
  • Handle: RePEc:nst:samfok:8307
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Risky choice; stochastic dominance; choice models; stakes; game show;

    JEL classification:

    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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