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Does Repetition Improve Consistency?

Much experimental effort has been expended in attempts to establish the relative superiority of Expected Utility theory and the many recently-developed alternatives as descriptions of the behaviour of subjects in risky choice decision problems. The cumulative evidence shows clearly that there is a great deal of noise in the experimental data, which makes it difficult to identify the `best' description of such behaviour. This paper reports on an experiment which seeks to determine whether such noise is relatively transitory and decays with experience and repetition, and thus whether a clearly `best' theory emerges as a result of such repetition. We find that for some subjects this does indeed appear to be the case, while for other subjects the noise remains high and the identification of the underlying preference function remains difficult.

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File URL: http://www.york.ac.uk/media/economics/documents/discussionpapers/1999/9928.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of York in its series Discussion Papers with number 99/28.

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Handle: RePEc:yor:yorken:99/28
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  1. Mark J Machina, 1982. ""Expected Utility" Analysis without the Independence Axiom," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7650, David K. Levine.
  2. Robin Cubitt & Chris Starmer & Robert Sugden, 1998. "On the Validity of the Random Lottery Incentive System," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 115-131, September.
  3. Karni, Edi & Safra, Zvi, 1987. ""Preference Reversal' and the Observability of Preferences by Experimental Methods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 675-85, May.
  4. Carbone, Enrica, 1997. "Investigation of stochastic preference theory using experimental data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 305-311, December.
  5. Holt, Charles A, 1986. "Preference Reversals and the Independence Axiom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 508-15, June.
  6. Hey, John D & Orme, Chris, 1994. "Investigating Generalizations of Expected Utility Theory Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1291-1326, November.
  7. Harless, David W & Camerer, Colin F, 1994. "The Predictive Utility of Generalized Expected Utility Theories," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1251-89, November.
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