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The midweight method to measure attitudes towards risk and ambiguity

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  • van de Kuilen, G.

    (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management)

  • Wakker, P.P.

    (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management)

Abstract

This paper introduces a parameter-free method for measuring the weighting functions of prospect theory and rank-dependent utility. These weighting functions capture risk attitudes, subjective beliefs, and ambiguity attitudes. Our method, called the midweight method, is based on a convenient way to obtain midpoints in the weighting function scale. It can be used both for risk (known probabilities) and for uncertainty (unknown probabilities). The resulting integrated treatment of risk and uncertainty is particularly useful for measuring ambiguity, i.e., the difference between uncertainty and risk. Compared to existing methods to measure weighting functions and attitudes toward uncertainty and ambiguity, our method is more efficient and can accommodate violations of expected utility under risk. An experiment demonstrates the tractability of our method, yielding plausible results such as ambiguity aversion for moderate and high likelihoods but ambiguity seeking for low likelihoods, as predicted by Ellsberg.

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  • van de Kuilen, G. & Wakker, P.P., 2011. "The midweight method to measure attitudes towards risk and ambiguity," Other publications TiSEM c58a6884-24cc-4cab-ae2f-a, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:tiu:tiutis:c58a6884-24cc-4cab-ae2f-a9db08d02d03
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    3. Arthur E. Attema & Werner B.F. Brouwer & Olivier l'Haridon, 2013. "A quantification of prospect theory in the health domain," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201321, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    4. Jianying Qiu & Eva-Maria Steiger, 2011. "Understanding the Two Components of Risk Attitudes: An Experimental Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(1), pages 193-199, January.
    5. Helga Fehr-Duda & Thomas Epper, 2012. "Probability and Risk: Foundations and Economic Implications of Probability-Dependent Risk Preferences," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 567-593, July.
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    7. Thomas Epper & Helga Fehr-Duda, 2012. "The missing link: unifying risk taking and time discounting," ECON - Working Papers 096, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Oct 2018.
    8. Katarzyna Werner & Horst Zank, 2012. "Foundations for Prospect Theory Through Probability Midpoint Consistency," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 1210, Economics, The University of Manchester.
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    10. Dimmock, Steve & Kouwenberg, Roy & Mitchell, Olivia S & Peijnenburg, Kim, 2018. "Household Portfolio Underdiversification and Probability Weighting: Evidence from the Field," CEPR Discussion Papers 13109, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Krawczyk, Michał Wiktor, 2015. "Probability weighting in different domains: The role of affect, fungibility, and stakes," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 1-15.
    12. Geiger, Gebhard, 2015. "Risk pricing in a non-expected utility framework," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 246(3), pages 944-948.
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    16. Bas Donkers & Carlos J.S. Lourenco & Benedict G.C. Dellaert & Daniel G. Goldstein, 2013. "Using Preferred Outcome Distributions to estimate Value and Probability Weighting Functions in Decisions under Risk," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-065/VII, Tinbergen Institute.
    17. Han (H.) Bleichrodt & Paul van Bruggen, 2018. "Reflection for higher order risk preferences," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 18-079/I, Tinbergen Institute.
    18. Michał Krawczyk, 2014. "Probability weighting in different domains: the role of stakes, fungibility, and affect," Working Papers 2014-15, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    19. Michał Krawczyk, 2013. "Delineating deception in experimental economics: Researchers' and subjects' views," Working Papers 2013-11, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    20. Epper, Thomas & Fehr-Duda, Helga, 2017. "A Tale of Two Tails: On the Coexistence of Overweighting and Underweighting of Rare Extreme Events," Economics Working Paper Series 1705, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    21. Erner, Carsten & Klos, Alexander & Langer, Thomas, 2013. "Can prospect theory be used to predict an investor’s willingness to pay?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 1960-1973.
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    23. Stracke, Rudi & Kerschbamer, Rudolf & Sunde, Uwe, 2015. "Prevalence and Determinants of Choice Bracketing - Experimental Evidence," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113092, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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