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Do Trade Union Leaders Violate Subjective Expected Utility?Some Insights from Experimental Data

  • Maffioletti, Anna

    ()

    (Sonderforschungsbereich 504)

  • Santoni, Michele

    ()

    (Universita\)

Abstract: This paper presents the results of two experiments designed to test violations of Subjective Expected Utility Theory (SEUT) within a sample of Italian trade union delegates and leaders. Subjects priced risky and ambiguous prospects in the domain of gains. Risky prospects were based on games of chance, while ambiguous prospects were built on the standard Ellsberg paradox and on event lotteries whose outcomes were based either on the results of a fictional election or on the future results of the 1999 European Parliamentary election in Italy and the UK. The experiments show that, although risky prospects were priced at their expected values on average, trade union delegates and leaders did violate SEUT when assessing ambiguous prospects. Moreover, their behaviour depended on the source of uncertainty (Ellsberg paradox versus electoral results; fictional versus real election; Italy versus UK election outcomes). We discuss the implications of these results for the economic theory of the trade union as regards technological innovation and the unemployed.

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Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim in its series Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications with number 01-43.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 11 Jul 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:xrs:sfbmaa:01-43
Note: Financial support from SFB 504, at the University of Mannheim, is gratefully acknowledged.
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Web page: http://www.sfb504.uni-mannheim.de/
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  2. Alan S. Blinder & John Morgan, 2001. "Are Two Heads Better Than One?: An Experimental Analysis of Group vs. Individual Decisionmaking," Working Papers 130, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
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  11. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521464673 is not listed on IDEAS
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  16. Heath, Chip & Tversky, Amos, 1991. " Preference and Belief: Ambiguity and Competence in Choice under Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 5-28, January.
  17. 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.
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