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Who Really Wants to be a Millionaire : Estimates of Risk Aversion from Game Show Data

  • Hartley, Roger

    (University of Manchester)

  • Lanot, Gauthier

    (Queen’s University,)

  • Walker, Ian

    (University of Warwick,)

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.

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File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/workingpapers/2008/twerp719.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 719.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:719
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Web page: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/

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  1. Donkers, A.C.D. & Melenberg, B. & van Soest, A.H.O., 1999. "Estimating Risk Attitudes Using Lotteries; A Large Sample Approach," Discussion Paper 1999-12, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
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  7. Szpiro, George G, 1986. "Measuring Risk Aversion: An Alternative Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(1), pages 156-59, February.
  8. Raj Chetty, 2006. "A New Method of Estimating Risk Aversion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1821-1834, December.
  9. 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 937-69, July.
  10. Jianakoplos, Nancy Ammon & Bernasek, Alexandra, 1998. "Are Women More Risk Averse?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 620-30, October.
  11. Beetsma, R.M.W.J. & Schotman, P.C., 1998. "Measuring Risk Attitudes in a Natural Experiment: Data from The Television Game Show LINGO," Papers 98-48, Southern California - School of Business Administration.
  12. 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.
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  14. 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.
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  18. 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.
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  24. 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.
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