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Loss Aversion Equilibrium

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  • Jonathan Shalev

    (CORE)

Abstract

The Nash equilibrium solution concept for games is based on the assumption of expected utility maximization. Reference dependent utility functions (in which utility is determined not only by an outcome, but also by the relationship of the outcome to a reference point) are a better predictor of behavior than expected utility. In particular, loss aversion is an important element of such utility functions. We extend games to include loss aversion characteristics of the players. We define two types of loss-aversion equilibrium, a solution concept endogenizing reference points. The two types reflect different types of updating of reference points during the game. In equilibrium, reference points emerge as expressions of anticipation which are fulfilled. We show existence of myopic loss-aversion equilibrium for any extended game, and compare it to Nash equilibrium. Comparative statics show that an increase in loss aversion of one player can affect his and other players' payoffs in different directions.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan Shalev, 1997. "Loss Aversion Equilibrium," Game Theory and Information 9703001, EconWPA, revised 19 Jul 1997.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpga:9703001
    Note: Type of Document - LaTeX; pages: 25; figures: included. New updated version - comments welcome.
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ferreira J. -L. & Gilboa I. & Maschler M., 1995. "Credible Equilibria in Games with Utilities Changing during the Play," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 284-317, August.
    2. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. "Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
    3. Jianakoplos, Nancy Ammon & Bernasek, Alexandra, 1998. "Are Women More Risk Averse?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 620-630, October.
    4. Gul, Faruk, 1991. "A Theory of Disappointment Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 667-686, May.
    5. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    6. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1325-1348, December.
    7. Daniel Kahneman & Jack L. Knetsch & Richard H. Thaler, 1991. "Anomalies: The Endowment Effect, Loss Aversion, and Status Quo Bias," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 193-206, Winter.
    8. Dekel, Eddie, 1986. "An axiomatic characterization of preferences under uncertainty: Weakening the independence axiom," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 304-318, December.
    9. Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. "Reference points, anchors, norms, and mixed feelings," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 296-312, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    loss aversion; reference dependence; equilibrium;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

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