Gambling on Genes: Ambiguity Aversion Explains Investment in Sisters’ Children
Many men invest in their sisters’ children instead of their wives’. Existing theories addressing such behavior depend on the level of paternity probability in such men’s societies being implausibly low. I link this anthropologically observed investment behavior with the experimentally observed phenomenon that some individuals are ambiguity averse. Arguing that men’s decisions are made under ambiguity, I show that an increase in ambiguity aversion results in investment in sisters’, rather than wives’, children. I show that this can happen even under risk neutrality. I also consider the special cases of a SEU maximizer and of extreme ambiguity aversion in the Gilboa-Schmeidler sense. Extremely ambiguity averse individuals invest in sister’s children regardless of risk preference or actual paternity rates. An increase in ambiguity, rather than an increase in ambiguity aversion, in contrast, may affect the investment decision either way. When sufficiently many men are ambiguity averse, inheritance norms could become avuncular, affecting women’s incentives and generating a bias towards actual nonpaternity. This is consistent with, but represents an unusual explanation of, data which show correlations between inheritance norms and actual paternity rates.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2012|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published in SMU Economics and Statistics Working Paper Series|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: 65-6828 0832
Fax: 65-6828 0833
Web page: http://www.economics.smu.edu.sg/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Email: |
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Marco Francesconi & Christian Ghiglino & Motty Perry, 2010.
"On the Origin of the Family,"
Economics Discussion Papers
682, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
- Francesconi, Marco & Ghiglino, Christian & Perry, Motty, 2010. "On the Origin of the Family," CEPR Discussion Papers 7629, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Marco Francesconi & Christian Ghiglino & Motty Perry, 2010. "On the Origin of the Family," Discussion Paper Series dp534, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
- Francesconi, Marco & Ghiglino, Christian & Perry, Motty, 2013. "On the Origin of the Family," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1028, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- Motty Perry & Christian Ghiglino & Marco Francesconi, 2010. "On the Origin of the Family," 2010 Meeting Papers 581, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Francesconi, Marco & Ghiglino, Christian & Perry, Motty, 2009. "On the Origin of the Family," IZA Discussion Papers 4637, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2008.
"Genes, Legitimacy and Hypergamy: Another Look at the Economics of Marriage,"
IDEI Working Papers
509, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
- Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2008. "Genes, Legitimacy and Hypergamy: Another Look at the Economics of Marriage," CEPR Discussion Papers 6828, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2009. "Genes, Legitimacy and Hypergamy: Another Look at the Economics of Marriage," IZA Discussion Papers 4456, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- John Dickhaut & Radhika Lunawat & Kira Pronin & Jack Stecher, 2011.
"Decision making and trade without probabilities,"
Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 275-288, October.
- Lena Edlund & Evelyn Korn, 2002. "A Theory of Prostitution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 181-214, February.
- Simone Cerreia-Vioglio & Paolo Ghirardato & Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Marciano Siniscalchi, 2011.
"Rational preferences under ambiguity,"
Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 341-375, October.
- Adam Dominiak & Wendelin Schnedler, 2011.
"Attitudes toward uncertainty and randomization: an experimental study,"
Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 289-312, October.
- Dominiak, Adam & Schnedler, Wendelin, 2010. "Attitudes towards Uncertainty and Randomization: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 0494, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
- Han Ozsoylev & Jan Werner, 2011. "Liquidity and asset prices in rational expectations equilibrium with ambiguous information," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 469-491, October.
- Korn, Evelyn, 2000. " On the Formation of Family Structures," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 105(3-4), pages 357-72, December.
- Jürgen Eichberger & David Kelsey, 2008.
"Are the Treasures of Game Theory Ambiguous?,"
0469, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2008.
- Dirk Bethmann & Michael Kvasnicka, 2011. "The institution of marriage," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 1005-1032, July.
- Johanna Etner & Meglena Jeleva & Jean‐Marc Tallon, 2012. "Decision Theory Under Ambiguity," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(2), pages 234-270, 04.
- Bishai, David & Grossbard, Shoshana, 2007. "Far Above Rubies: The Association Between Bride Price and Extramarital Sexual Relations in Uganda," IZA Discussion Papers 2982, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Scott Condie & Jayant Ganguli, 2011. "Informational efficiency with ambiguous information," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 229-242, October.
- Lena Edlund, 2006. "Marriage: Past, Present, Future?," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 52(4), pages 621-639, December.
- Diamond, Arthur M, Jr & Locay, Luis, 1989. "Investment in Sister's Children as Behavior towards Risk," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 27(4), pages 719-35, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:siu:wpaper:33-2012. 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: (QL THor)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.