Measuring Risk Aversion and the Wealth Effect
Measuring risk aversion is sensitive to assumptions about the wealth in subjectsâ€™ utility functions. Data from the same subjects in low- and high-stake lottery decisions allow estimating the wealth in a pre-specified one-parameter utility function simultaneously with risk aversion. This paper first shows how wealth estimates can be identified assuming constant relative risk aversion (CRRA). Using the data from a recent experiment by Holt and Laury (2002), it is shown that most subjectsâ€™ behavior is consistent with CRRA at some wealth level. However, for realistic wealth levels most subjectsâ€™ behavior implies a decreasing relative risk aversion. An alternative explanation is that subjects do not fully integrate their wealth with income from the experiment. Within-subject data do not allow discriminating between the two hypotheses. Using between-subject data, maximum-likelihood estimates of a hybrid utility function indicate that aggregate behavior can be described by expected utility from income rather than expected utility from final wealth and partial relative risk aversion is increasing in the scale of payoffs.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2005|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1, D-80539 Munich, Germany|
Web page: http://www.sfbtr15.de/
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Uri Gneezy & Jan Potters, 1997.
"An Experiment on Risk Taking and Evaluation Periods,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 631-645.
- Gneezy, U. & Potters, J.J.M., 1996. "An experiment on risk taking and evaluation periods," Discussion Paper 1996-61, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
- Gneezy, U. & Potters, J.J.M., 1997. "An experiment on risk taking and evaluation periods," Other publications TiSEM da6ba1bf-e15c-41b2-ae95-c, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
- Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
- Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
- Matthew Rabin & Richard H. Thaler, 2001. "Anomalies: Risk Aversion," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 219-232, Winter.
- Laura Schechter, 2007. "Risk aversion and expected-utility theory: A calibration exercise," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 67-76, August. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)