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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. Boes, Stefan & Lipp, Markus & Winkelmann, Rainer, 2007. "Money illusion under test," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(3), pages 332-337, March.
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  10. 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.
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  12. Stefan Boes, 2007. "Count Data Models with Unobserved Heterogeneity: An Empirical Likelihood Approach," SOI - Working Papers 0704, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  13. Hans Gersbach & Armin Schmutzler, 2006. "A Product-Market Theory of Industry-Specific Training," SOI - Working Papers 0610, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  14. Gärtner, Dennis L. & Schmutzler, Armin, 2009. "Merger negotiations and ex-post regret," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(4), pages 1636-1664, July.
  15. 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).
  16. 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.
  17. Adrian Bruhin & Helga Fehr-Duda & Thomas Epper, 2007. "Risk and Rationality: Uncovering Heterogeneity in Probability Distortion," SOI - Working Papers 0705, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Jul 2007.
  18. Halbheer, Daniel & Fehr, Ernst & Goette, Lorenz & Schmutzler, Armin, 2009. "Self-reinforcing market dominance," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 481-502, November.
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  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Stefan Boes, 2007. "Nonparametric Analysis of Treatment Effects in Ordered Response Models," SOI - Working Papers 0709, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  25. 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.
  26. Gersbach, Hans & Schmutzler, Armin, 2006. "Foreign Direct Investment and R&D Offshoring," CEPR Discussion Papers 5766, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  27. 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.
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