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Eliciting Risk Preferences Using Choice Lists


  • Freeman, David
  • Halevy, Yoram
  • Kneeland, Terri


We study the effect of embedding pairwise choices between lotteries within a choice list on measured risk attitude. Using an experiment with online workers, we find that subjects choose the risky lottery rather than a sure payment significantly more often when responding to a choice list. This behavior can be rationalized by the interaction between non-expected utility and the random incentive system, as suggested by Karni and Safra (1987).

Suggested Citation

  • Freeman, David & Halevy, Yoram & Kneeland, Terri, 2015. "Eliciting Risk Preferences Using Choice Lists," working papers yoram_halevy-2015-9, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 09 Jan 2018.
  • Handle: RePEc:ubc:pmicro:yoram_halevy-2015-9

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    Cited by:

    1. Jonathan Chapman & Mark Dean & Pietro Ortoleva & Erik Snowberg & Colin Camerer, 2018. "Econographics," NBER Working Papers 24931, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Jonathan Chapman & Erik Snowberg & Stephanie Wang & Colin Camerer, 2018. "Loss Attitudes in the U.S. Population: Evidence from Dynamically Optimized Sequential Experimentation (DOSE)," CESifo Working Paper Series 7262, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Jonathan Chapman & Pietro Ortoleva & Erik Snowberg & Colin Camerer & Mark Dean, 2017. "Willingness-To-Pay and Willingness-To-Accept are Probably Less Correlated than You Think," CESifo Working Paper Series 6492, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Freeman, David & Manzini, Paola & Mariotti, Marco & Mittone, Luigi, 2016. "Procedures for eliciting time preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 126(PA), pages 235-242.
    5. Patrick DeJarnette & David Dillenberger & Daniel Gottlieb & Pietro Ortoleva, 2014. "Time Lotteries and Stochastic Impatience," PIER Working Paper Archive 18-021, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 13 Jun 2018.
    6. Noemí Herranz-Zarzoso & Gerardo Sabater-Grande, 2018. "Framing and repetition effects on risky choices: A behavioral approach," Working Papers 2018/04, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
    7. Patrick DeJarnette & David Dillenberger & Daniel Gottlieb & Pietro Ortoleva, 2015. "Time Lotteries," PIER Working Paper Archive 15-026, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 31 Jul 2015.
    8. repec:eee:jetheo:v:181:y:2019:i:c:p:547-585 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:eee:jeborg:v:159:y:2019:i:c:p:344-354 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Larry G. Epstein & Yoram Halevy, 2019. "Hard-to-Interpret Signals," Working Papers tecipa-634, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    11. Holden, Stein T. & Tilahun, Mesfin, 2019. "How related are risk preferences and time preferences?," CLTS Working Papers 4/19, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Centre for Land Tenure Studies.
    12. Victor H. Aguiar & Maria Jose Boccardi & Nail Kashaev & Jeongbin Kim, 2018. "Does Random Consideration Explain Behavior when Choice is Hard? Evidence from a Large-scale Experiment," Papers 1812.09619,, revised Jun 2019.
    13. Friedman, Daniel & Habib, Sameh & James, Duncan & Crockett, Sean, 2018. "Varieties of risk elicitation," Discussion Papers, Research Professorship Market Design: Theory and Pragmatics SP II 2018-501, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    14. Patrick DeJarnette & David Dillenberger & Daniel Gottlieb & Pietro Ortoleva, 2014. "Time Lotteries, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 15-026v2, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 12 Jan 2018.
    15. Holden , Stein T. & Tilahun , Mesfin, 2019. "The Devil is in the Details: Risk Preferences, Choice List Design, and Measurement Error," CLTS Working Papers 3/19, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Centre for Land Tenure Studies, revised 15 May 2019.

    More about this item


    random incentive system; isolation; independence axiom; multiple price list; reduction of compound lotteries; preference reversals; certainty effect;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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