IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ucd/wpaper/200607.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Who really wants to be a millionaire? Estimates of risk aversion from gameshow data

Author

Listed:
  • Roger Hartley

    (University of Manchester, Manchester)

  • Gauthier Lanot

    (Keele University, Staffs)

  • Ian Walker

    (University of Warwick, Coventry)

Abstract

This paper analyses the behaviour of TV gameshow contestants to estimate risk aversion. We are able to show that the gameshow participants are broadly representative of the population as a whole. The gameshow has a number of features that makes it well suited for our analysis: the format is extremely straightforward, it involves no strategic decisionmaking, we have a large number of observations, and the prizes are cash and paid immediately, and cover a large range – from £100 up to £1 million. Even though the CRRA model is extremely restrictive we find that a coefficient or relative risk aversion which is close to unity fits the data across a wide range of wealth remarkably well.

Suggested Citation

  • Roger Hartley & Gauthier Lanot & Ian Walker, 2006. "Who really wants to be a millionaire? Estimates of risk aversion from gameshow data," Working Papers 200607, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:200607
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/geary/static/publications/workingpapers/GearyWp200607.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2006
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert B. Barsky & Miles S. Kimball & F. Thomas Juster & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1995. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Survey," NBER Working Papers 5213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Thierry Post & Martijn J. van den Assem & Guido Baltussen & Richard H. Thaler, 2008. "Deal or No Deal? Decision Making under Risk in a Large-Payoff Game Show," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 38-71, March.
    3. Raj Chetty, 2006. "A New Method of Estimating Risk Aversion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1821-1834, December.
    4. Jianakoplos, Nancy Ammon & Bernasek, Alexandra, 1998. "Are Women More Risk Averse?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 620-630, October.
    5. Matthew Rabin, 2000. "Risk Aversion and Expected-Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1281-1292, September.
    6. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 339-357, April.
    7. Szpiro, George G, 1986. "Measuring Risk Aversion: An Alternative Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(1), pages 156-159, February.
    8. 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.
    9. Dale J. Poirier, 1995. "Intermediate Statistics and Econometrics: A Comparative Approach," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161494, November.
    10. Cicchetti, Charles J & Dubin, Jeffrey A, 1994. "A Microeconometric Analysis of Risk Aversion and the Decision to Self-Insure," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(1), pages 169-186, February.
    11. Matthew Rabin & Richard H. Thaler, 2001. "Anomalies: Risk Aversion," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 219-232, Winter.
    12. Connel Fullenkamp & Rafael Tenorio & Robert Battalio, 2003. "Assessing Individual Risk Attitudes Using Field Data From Lottery Games," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 218-226, February.
    13. Donkers, Bas & Melenberg, Bertrand & Van Soest, Arthur, 2001. "Estimating Risk Attitudes Using Lotteries: A Large Sample Approach," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 165-195, March.
    14. A. B. Atkinson, 1977. "Optimal Taxation and the Direct versus Indirect Tax Controversy," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 10(4), pages 590-606, November.
    15. Robert Gertner, 1993. "Game Shows and Economic Behavior: Risk-Taking on "Card Sharks"," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 507-521.
    16. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1991. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 263-286, April.
    17. Farrell, Lisa & Walker, Ian, 1999. "The welfare effects of lotto: evidence from the UK," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 99-120, April.
    18. Beetsma, Roel M W J & Schotman, Peter C, 2001. "Measuring Risk Attitudes in a Natural Experiment: Data from the Television Game Show Lingo," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(474), pages 821-848, October.
    19. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    20. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1989. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: A Theoretical Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 937-969, July.
    21. Robert B. Barsky & F. Thomas Juster & Miles S. Kimball & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1997. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 537-579.
    22. Palsson, Anne-Marie, 1996. "Does the degree of relative risk aversion vary with household characteristics?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 771-787, December.
    23. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1996. "The Equity Premium: It's Still a Puzzle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 42-71, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Jasper Lukkezen & Coen Teulings, 2013. "Optimal Fiscal Policy," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-064/VI, Tinbergen Institute.
    2. Volker Grossmann & Holger Strulik, 2015. "Optimal Social Insurance and Health Inequality," CESifo Working Paper Series 5604, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Layard, R. & Mayraz, G. & Nickell, S., 2008. "The marginal utility of income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(8-9), pages 1846-1857, August.
    4. Anna Conte & Peter G. Moffatt & Fabrizio Botti & Daniela T. Di Cagno & Carlo D’Ippoliti, 2012. "A test of the rational expectations hypothesis using data from a natural experiment," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(35), pages 4661-4678, December.
    5. Adriaan R. Soetevent & Liting Zhou, 2016. "Loss Modification Incentives for Insurers Under Expected Utility and Loss Aversion," De Economist, Springer, vol. 164(1), pages 41-67, March.
    6. Botti Fabrizio & Conte Anna & Di Cagno Daniela Teresa & D'Ippoliti Carlo, 2008. "Risk Attitude in Real Decision Problems," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-32, March.
    7. Whitle, Richard & Rae, Jonathan & Pyke, Chris, 2015. "An empirical investigation into the propensity of reckless decision making within the high pressure environment of Deal or No Deal," MPRA Paper 66832, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Cary Deck & Jungmin Lee & Javier Reyes, 2008. "Risk attitudes in large stake gambles: evidence from a game show," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(1), pages 41-52.
    9. Driouchi, Ahmed & Kadiri, Molk, 2010. "Emigration of Skilled Labor under Risk Aversion: The Case of Medical Doctors from Middle Eastern and North African Economies," MPRA Paper 22810, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 20 May 2010.
    10. Dorsaf Ben Aissia, 2016. "Developments in non-expected utility theories: an empirical study of risk aversion," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 40(2), pages 299-318, April.
    11. Keldenich, Klemens & Klemm, Marcus, 2011. "Double or Nothing!? Small Groups Making Decisions Under Risk in ""Quiz Taxi""," Ruhr Economic Papers 278, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    12. Gergely Horváth & Hubert János Kiss, 2014. "Correlated observations, the law of small numbers and bank runs," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1429, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
    13. repec:zbw:rwirep:0278 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Hannsgen, Greg, 2008. "The welfare economics of macroeconomics and chooser-dependent, non-expected utility preferences: A Senian critique with an application to the costs of the business cycle," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1980-1993, October.
    15. Bliss, Richard T. & Potter, Mark E. & Schwarz, Christopher, 2012. "Decision making and risk aversion in the Cash Cab," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 163-173.
    16. Maxwell, Andrew L. & Jeffrey, Scott A. & Lévesque, Moren, 2011. "Business angel early stage decision making," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 212-225, March.
    17. Belot, Michele & Bhaskar, V & van de Ven, Jeroen, 2006. "A Public Dilemma: Cooperation with Large Stakes and a Large Audience," Economics Discussion Papers 9979, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    18. Klemens Keldenich & Marcus Klemm, 2014. "Double or nothing?! Small groups making decisions under risk in “Quiz Taxi”," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 77(2), pages 243-274, August.
    19. Greg Hannsgen, 2007. "Are the Costs of the Business Cycle 'Trivially Small'?," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_492, Levy Economics Institute.
    20. Satya R. Chakravarty & Nachiketa Chattopadhyay & Jacques Silber & Guanghua Wan, 2016. "Measuring the impact of vulnerability on the number of poor: a new methodology with empirical illustrations," Chapters,in: The Asian ‘Poverty Miracle’, chapter 4, pages 84-117 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    21. Klemens Keldenich & Marcus Klemm, 2011. "Double or Nothing!? Small Groups Making Decisions Under Risk in “Quiz Taxi”," Ruhr Economic Papers 0278, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Risk aversion; gameshow;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:200607. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Geary Tech). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/geucdie.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.