Measuring ambiguity aversion: A systematic experimental approach
This paper provides a systematic analysis of individual attitudes towards ambiguity, based on laboratory experiments. The design of the analysis allows to capture individual behavior across various levels of ambiguity, ranging from low to high. Attitudes towards risk and attitudes towards ambiguity are disentangled, providing pure measures of ambiguity aversion. Ambiguity aversion is captured in several ways, i.e. as a discount factor net of a risk premium, and as an estimated parameter in a generalized utility function. We find that ambiguity aversion varies across individuals, and with the level of ambiguity, being most prominent for intermediate levels. Around one third of subjects show no aversion, one third show maximum aversion, and one third show intermediate levels of ambiguity aversion, while there is almost no ambiguity seeking. While most theoretical work on ambiguity builds on maxmin expected utility, our results provide evidence that MEU does not adequately capture individual attitudes towards ambiguity for the majority of individuals. Instead, our results support models that allow for intermediate levels of ambiguity aversion. Moreover, we find risk aversion to be statistically unrelated to ambiguity aversion on average. Taken together, the results support the view that ambiguity is an important and distinct argument in decision making under uncertainty.
|Date of creation:||2014|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 3, D-60323 Frankfurt am Main|
Phone: +49 (0)69 798-30080
Fax: +49 (0)69 798-30077
Web page: http://safe-frankfurt.de/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Larry G. Epstein & Martin Schneider, 2008.
"Ambiguity, Information Quality, and Asset Pricing,"
Journal of Finance,
American Finance Association, vol. 63(1), pages 197-228, 02.
- Larry Epstein & Martin Schneider, 2004. "Ambiguity, Information Quality and Asset Pricing," RCER Working Papers 507, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
- Larry Epstein & Martin Schneider, 2005. "Ambiguity, Information Quality and Asset Pricing," RCER Working Papers 519, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
- Marciano Siniscalchi, 2009.
"Vector Expected Utility and Attitudes Toward Variation,"
Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 801-855, 05.
- Marciano Siniscalchi, 2007. "Vector Expected Utility and Attitudes toward Variation," Discussion Papers 1455, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Schmeidler, David, 1989.
"Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity,"
Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 571-87, May.
- David Schmeidler, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7662, David K. Levine.
- David Easley & Maureen O'Hara, 2009. "Ambiguity and Nonparticipation: The Role of Regulation," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(5), pages 1817-1843, May.
- Judson A. Caskey, 2009. "Information in Equity Markets with Ambiguity-Averse Investors," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(9), pages 3595-3627, September.
- Einhorn, Hillel J & Hogarth, Robin M, 1986. "Decision Making under Ambiguity," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages S225-50, October.
- 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.
- Yoram Halevy, 2007.
"Ellsberg Revisited: An Experimental Study,"
Econometric Society, vol. 75(2), pages 503-536, 03.
- Cosmin L. Ilut, 2010.
"Ambiguity Aversion: Implications for the Uncovered Interest Rate Parity Puzzle,"
10-53, Duke University, Department of Economics.
- Cosmin Ilut, 2012. "Ambiguity Aversion: Implications for the Uncovered Interest Rate Parity Puzzle," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 33-65, July.
- Cosmin Ilut, 2009. "Ambiguity Aversion: Implications For The Uncovered Interest Rate Parity Puzzle," 2009 Meeting Papers 328, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Eric Danan & Anthony Ziegelmeyer, 2006. "Are preferences complete? An experimental measurement of indecisiveness under risk," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2006-01, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
- Ghirardato, Paolo & Maccheroni, Fabio & Marinacci, Massimo, 2004. "Differentiating ambiguity and ambiguity attitude," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 118(2), pages 133-173, October.
- Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989.
"Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior,"
Journal of Mathematical Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
- Ricardo J. Caballero & Pablo Kurlat, 2009. "The surprising origin and nature of financial crises: a macroeconomic policy proposal," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 19-68.
- Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Aldo Rustichini, 2006.
"Ambiguity Aversion, Robustness, and the Variational Representation of Preferences,"
Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1447-1498, November.
- Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Aldo Rustichini, 2004. "Ambiguity Aversion, Robustness, and the Variational Representation of Preferences," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 12, Collegio Carlo Alberto, revised 2006.
- Tsogbadral Galaabaatar & Edi Karni, 2013. "Subjective Expected Utility With Incomplete Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(1), pages 255-284, 01.
- Boyarchenko, Nina, 2012. "Ambiguity shifts and the 2007–2008 financial crisis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(5), pages 493-507.
- Anderson, Evan W. & Ghysels, Eric & Juergens, Jennifer L., 2009. "The impact of risk and uncertainty on expected returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 233-263, November.
- Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
- H. Henry Cao & Tan Wang & Harold H. Zhang, 2005. "Model Uncertainty, Limited Market Participation, and Asset Prices," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(4), pages 1219-1251.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:safewp:55. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.