IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Market Preferences for Risk Distributions: Evidence from Lottery Loans


  • Francois Velde

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)


Lottery loans were widely used in the 18th century. Instead of buying a long-term bond of known face value, investors entered a lottery which determined the face value (or size) of the bond. The largest prizes were several orders of magnitude larger than the smallest (and most common). At a quarter of median household income, the ticket price was sizable; the identity of lottery winners reported in newspapers confirm that participants were educated and well-to-do. The prices of these lottery loans reveal curious investor behavior. The expected rate of return was lower than on non-random bonds. Drawing the lottery took several weeks; tickets were traded as it unfolded and prices were reported in newspapers. I collect these prices as well as the changing distribution of remaining prizes to evidence the market's preferences over probability distributions.

Suggested Citation

  • Francois Velde, 2013. "Market Preferences for Risk Distributions: Evidence from Lottery Loans," 2013 Meeting Papers 1048, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed013:1048

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:sed013:1048. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christian Zimmermann). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.