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History-Dependent Risk Attitude, Second Version

Author

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  • David Dillenberger

    () (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

  • Kareen Rozen

    () (Department of Economics and Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics)

Abstract

We propose a model of history-dependent risk attitude, allowing a decision maker’s risk attitude to be affected by his history of disappointments and elations. The decision maker recursively evaluates compound risks, classifying realizations as disappointing or elating using a threshold rule. We establish equivalence between the model and two cognitive biases: risk attitudes are reinforced by experiences (one is more risk averse after disappointment than after elation) and there is a primacy effect (early outcomes have the greatest impact on risk attitude). In dynamic asset pricing, the model yields volatile, path-dependent prices.

Suggested Citation

  • David Dillenberger & Kareen Rozen, 2011. "History-Dependent Risk Attitude, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 12-029, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 14 Jul 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:12-029
    as

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    File URL: http://economics.sas.upenn.edu/system/files/12-029.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Atanu Saha & C. Richard Shumway & Hovav Talpaz, 1994. "Joint Estimation of Risk Preference Structure and Technology Using Expo-Power Utility," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 76(2), pages 173-184.
    2. Markku Kaustia & Samuli Knüpfer, 2008. "Do Investors Overweight Personal Experience? Evidence from IPO Subscriptions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(6), pages 2679-2702, December.
    3. Alma Cohen & Liran Einav, 2007. "Estimating Risk Preferences from Deductible Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 745-788, June.
    4. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680.
    5. Kareen Rozen, 2010. "Foundations of Intrinsic Habit Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(4), pages 1341-1373, July.
    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.
    7. 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.
    8. Pascal St-Amour & Stephen Gordon, 2000. "A Preference Regime Model of Bull and Bear Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1019-1033, September.
    9. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2001. "Psychological Expected Utility Theory and Anticipatory Feelings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 55-79.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    history-dependent risk attitude; reinforcement effect; primacy effect; dynamic reference dependence;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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