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Risk aversion and embedding bias

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Abstract

In Selten (1967) “Strategy Method,” the second mover in the game submits a complete strategy. This basic idea has been exported to nonstrategic experiments, where a participant reports a complete list of contingent decisions, one for each situation or state in a given sequence, out of which one and only one state, randomly selected, will be implemented. In general, the method raises the following concern. If S0 and S1 are two different sequences of states, and state s is in both S0 and S1, would the participant make the same decision in state s when confronted with S0 as when confronted with S1? If not, the experimental results are suspect of suffering from an “embedding bias.” We check for embedding biases in elicitation methods of Charles Holt and Susan Laury (Laury and Holt, 2000, and Holt and Laury, 2002), and of the present authors (Bosch-Domènech and Silvestre, 1999, 2002, 2006a, b) by appropriately chosen replications of the original experiments. We find no evidence of embedding bias in our work. But in Holt and Laury’s method participants tend to switch earlier to the riskier option when later pairs of lotteries are eliminated from the sequence, suggesting the presence of some embedding bias.

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  • Antoni Bosch-Domènech & Joaquim Silvestre, 2006. "Risk aversion and embedding bias," Economics Working Papers 934, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:934
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    1. Antoni Bosch-Domènech & Joaquim Silvestre, 2002. "Reflections on gains and losses: A 2x2x7 experiment," Economics Working Papers 640, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Feb 2005.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mohammed Abdellaoui & Ahmed Driouchi & Olivier L’Haridon, 2011. "Risk aversion elicitation: reconciling tractability and bias minimization," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 71(1), pages 63-80, July.
    2. Jordi Brandts & Gary Charness, 2011. "The strategy versus the direct-response method: a first survey of experimental comparisons," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(3), pages 375-398, September.
    3. Aurora García-Gallego & Nikolaos Georgantzís & Ainhoa Jaramillo-Gutiérrez & Melanie Parravano, 2010. "The SGG risk elicitation task:Implementation and results," ThE Papers 10/07, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
    4. Jacquemet, Nicolas & Rullière, Jean-Louis & Vialle, Isabelle, 2008. "Monitoring optimistic agents," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 698-714, November.
    5. Antoni Bosch-Domènech & Joaquim Silvestre, 2006. "Reflections on gains and losses: A 2 × 2 × 7 experiment," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 217-235, December.
    6. Aurora García-Gallego & Nikolaos Georgantzís & Ainhoa Jaramillo-Gutiérrez & Melanie Parravano, 2010. "The lottery-panel task for bi-dimensional parameter-free elicitation of risk attitudes," ThE Papers 10/12, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Embedding bias; strategy method; Holt; Laury; Risk Attraction; Risk Aversion; Experiments; Leex;

    JEL classification:

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

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