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Biological correlates of the Allais paradox

  • Da Silva, Sergio
  • Baldo, Dinorá
  • Matsushita, Raul

We conducted a questionnaire study with student subjects to look for explicit correlations between selected biological characteristics of the subjects and manifestation of the Allais paradox in the pattern of their choices between sets of two pairs of risky prospects. We find that particular bio-characteristics, such as gender, menstrual cycle, mother’s age, parenthood, digit ratio, perceived negative life events, and emotional state, can be related to the paradox. Women, in particular if not menstruating, are less susceptible to the paradox. Those born to not-too-young mothers are also less prone to the paradox. The same holds true for those who father children, those with high prenatal testosterone exposure, who have reported many negative life events, and those who were anxious, excited, aroused, happy, active, and fresh at the time of the experiment. Further, left-handers and atheists may be less inclined to exhibit the paradox.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 18938.

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Date of creation: 30 Nov 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:18938
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  1. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  2. Conlisk, John, 1989. "Three Variants on the Allais Example," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 392-407, June.
  3. Newton, Da Costa Jr & Carlos, Mineto & Sergio, Da Silva, 2006. "Disposition effect and gender," MPRA Paper 1848, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman, 2008. "Sex and Risk: Experimental Evidence," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-09, Monash University, Department of Economics.
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