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Stochastic Expected Utility and Prospect Theory in a Horse Race: A Finite Mixture Approach

  • Adrian Bruhin

    ()

    (Socioeconomic Institute, University of Zurich)

This study compares the performance of Prospect Theory versus Stochastic Expected Utility Theory at fitting data on decision making under risk. Both theories incorporate well-known deviations from Expected Utility Maximization such as the Allais paradox or the fourfold pattern of risk attitudes. Stochastic Expected Utility Theory parsimoniously extends the standard microeconomic model, whereas Prospect Theory, the benchmark for aggregate choice so far, is based on psychological findings. First, the two theories' fit to representative choice is assessed for two experimental data sets, one Swiss and one Chinese. In a second step, finite mixture regressions reveal a consistent mix of two different behavioral types suggesting that researchers may take individual heterogeneity into account in order to avoid aggregation bias.

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File URL: http://www.soi.uzh.ch/research/wp/2008/wp0803.pdf
File Function: First version, 2008
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Paper provided by Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich in its series SOI - Working Papers with number 0803.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:soz:wpaper:0803
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  1. Dennis Gaertner, 2007. "Why Bayes Rules: A Note on Bayesian vs. Classical Inference in Regime Switching Models," SOI - Working Papers 0719, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  2. Helga Fehr-Duda & Adrian Bruhin & Thomas Epper & Renate Schubert, 2010. "Rationality on the rise: Why relative risk aversion increases with stake size," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 147-180, April.
  3. Donja Darai & Dario Sacco & Armin Schmutzler, 2010. "Competition and innovation: an experimental investigation," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 439-460, December.
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  6. Hans Gersbach & Armin Schmutzler, 2006. "A Product-Market Theory of Industry-Specific Training," SOI - Working Papers 0610, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  7. Lalive, Rafael & Schmutzler, Armin, 2008. "Exploring the effects of competition for railway markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 443-458, March.
  8. Gersbach, Hans & Schmutzler, Armin, 2007. "Does Globalization Create Superstars?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6222, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Mahler, Philippe & Winkelmann, Rainer, 2004. "Single Motherhood and (Un)Equal Educational Opportunities: Evidence for Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 1391, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Adrian Bruhin & Rainer Winkelmann, 2007. "Happiness Functions with Preference Interdependence and Heterogeneity: The Case of Altruism within the Family," SOI - Working Papers 0702, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Feb 2008.
  11. Felix Schlaepfer, 2007. "Contingent valuation: a new perspective," SOI - Working Papers 0715, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  12. Daniel Halbheer & Ernst Fehr & Lorenz Goette & Armin Schmutzler, 2007. "Self-Reinforcing Market Dominance," SOI - Working Papers 0711, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  13. Stefan Boes & Rainer Winkelmann, 2006. "The Effect of Income on Positive and Negative Subjective Well-Being," SOI - Working Papers 0605, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  14. Stefan Buehler & Christian Kaiser & Franz Jaeger, 2007. "On the Geographic and Cultural Determinants of Bankruptcy," SOI - Working Papers 0701, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Jun 2007.
  15. Johannes Schwarze & Rainer Winkelmann, 2005. "What can happiness research tell us about altruism? Evidence from the German Socio-Economic Panel," SOI - Working Papers 0503, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Sep 2005.
  16. Adrian Bruhin & Helga Fehr-Duda & Thomas Epper, 2010. "Risk and Rationality: Uncovering Heterogeneity in Probability Distortion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(4), pages 1375-1412, 07.
  17. Lalive Rafael & Schmutzler Armin, 2008. "Entry in Liberalized Railway Markets: The German Experience," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-16, March.
  18. Stefan Boes & Kevin Staub & Rainer Winkelmann, 2007. "Hedonic Adaptation to Living Standards and the Hidden Cost of Parental Income," SOI - Working Papers 0713, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  19. Stefan Boes, 2007. "Nonparametric Analysis of Treatment Effects in Ordered Response Models," SOI - Working Papers 0709, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  20. Stefan Boes & Markus Lipp & Rainer Winkelmann, 2005. "Money Illusion Under Test," SOI - Working Papers 0514, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  21. Helga Fehr & Thomas Epper & Adrian Bruhin & Renate Schubert, 2007. "Risk and Rationality: The Effect of Incidental Mood on Probability Weighting," SOI - Working Papers 0703, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  22. Felix Schlaepfer, 2007. "An analysis of the Swiss vote on the use of genetically modified crops," SOI - Working Papers 0717, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  23. Sandra Hanslin, 2008. "The effect of trade openness on optimal government size under endogenous firm entry," SOI - Working Papers 0802, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  24. Schmutzler, Armin, 2010. "The relation between competition and innovation -- Why is it such a mess?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7640, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  25. Wu, George, 1994. "An Empirical Test of Ordinal Independence," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 39-60, July.
  26. Fabian Waltert & Felix Schlaepfer, 2007. "The role of landscape amenities in regional development: a survey of migration, regional economic and hedonic pricing studies," SOI - Working Papers 0710, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  27. Stefan Boes, 2007. "Count Data Models with Unobserved Heterogeneity: An Empirical Likelihood Approach," SOI - Working Papers 0704, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
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