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The Effect of an Additional Alternative on Measured Risk Preferences in a Field Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Jim Engle-Warnick

    (McGill University)

  • Javier Escobal

    (GRADE)

  • Sonia Laszlo

    (McGill University)

Abstract

We experimentally test for the effect of an additional alternative on the measured risk preferences of farmers in rural Peru. In our experiment, subjects revealed their risk preferences with a series of choices between two gambles. We added a third gamble, which was always dominated by one of the two existing gambles. We found that subjects chose this gamble nearly one quarter of the time, in some cases causing them to appear more risk loving. We conclude that the number of available alternatives should be taken into account for predicting decisions under uncertainty.

Suggested Citation

  • Jim Engle-Warnick & Javier Escobal & Sonia Laszlo, 2005. "The Effect of an Additional Alternative on Measured Risk Preferences in a Field Experiment," Experimental 0511003, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpex:0511003
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 30
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    File URL: https://econwpa.ub.uni-muenchen.de/econ-wp/exp/papers/0511/0511003.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bertrand, Marianne & Karlan, Dean S. & Mullainathan, Sendhil & Shafir, Eldar & Zinman, Jonathan, 2005. "What's Psychology Worth? A Field Experiment in the Consumer Credit Market," Center Discussion Papers 28441, Yale University, Economic Growth Center.
    2. Antle, John M & Crissman, Charles C, 1990. "Risk, Efficiency, and the Adoption of Modern Crop Varieties: Evidence from the Philippines," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(3), pages 517-537, April.
    3. Abigail Barr & Garance Genicot, 2008. "Risk Sharing, Commitment, and Information: An Experimental Analysis," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(6), pages 1151-1185, December.
    4. Abigail Barr, 2003. "Risk pooling, commitment and information: An experimental test of two fundamental assumptions," Framed Field Experiments 00124, The Field Experiments Website.
    5. Mette Wik & Tewodros Aragie Kebede & Olvar Bergland & Stein Holden, 2004. "On the measurement of risk aversion from experimental data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(21), pages 2443-2451.
    6. Feder, Gershon, 1980. "Farm Size, Risk Aversion and the Adoption of New Technology under Uncertainty," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(2), pages 263-283, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chetan Dave & Catherine Eckel & Cathleen Johnson & Christian Rojas, 2010. "Eliciting risk preferences: When is simple better?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 219-243, December.
    2. Jim Engle-Warnick & Javier Escobal & Sonia Laszlo, 2006. "Risk preference, ambiguity aversion and technology choice: Experimental and survey evidence from rural peru," Artefactual Field Experiments 00042, The Field Experiments Website.
    3. Jim Engle-Warnick & Javier Escobal & Sonia Laszlo, 2007. "Ambiguity Aversion As A Predictor Of Technology Choice: Experimental Evidence From Peru," Departmental Working Papers 2007-04, McGill University, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    risk preferences; risk measurement instruments; experimental economics; field experiments;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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