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Responsibility effects in decision making under risk

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  • Pahlke, Julius
  • Strasser, Sebastian
  • Vieider, Ferdinand M.

Abstract

We explore situations in which a decision-maker bears responsibility for somebody else's outcomes as well as for her own. For gains we confirm the intuition that being responsible for somebody else's payoffs increases risk aversion, while in the loss domain we find increased risk seeking. In a second experiment we replicate the finding of increased risk aversion for large probabilities of a gain, while for small probability gains we find an increase of risk seeking under conditions of responsibility. This discredits hypotheses of a cautious shift under responsibility, and indicates an accentuation of the fourfold pattern of risk attitudes usually found for individual choices.

Suggested Citation

  • Pahlke, Julius & Strasser, Sebastian & Vieider, Ferdinand M., 2012. "Responsibility effects in decision making under risk," Discussion Papers, WZB Junior Research Group Risk and Development SP II 2012-402, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbrad:spii2012402
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hela Maafi, 2011. "Preference Reversals Under Ambiguity," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(11), pages 2054-2066, November.
    2. Lefebvre, Mathieu & Vieider, Ferdinand M. & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2010. "Incentive effects on risk attitude in small probability prospects," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 115-120, November.
    3. Mohammed Abdellaoui & Aurelien Baillon & Laetitia Placido & Peter P. Wakker, 2011. "The Rich Domain of Uncertainty: Source Functions and Their Experimental Implementation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 695-723, April.
    4. Sujoy Chakravarty & Glenn W. Harrison & Ernan E. Haruvy & E. Elisabet Rutström, 2011. "Are You Risk Averse over Other People's Money?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 901-913, April.
    5. Ingrid Rohde & Kirsten Rohde, 2011. "Risk attitudes in a social context," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 205-225, December.
    6. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "Men, Women and Risk Aversion: Experimental Evidence," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
    7. Mohammed Abdellaoui & Olivier L’Haridon & Horst Zank, 2010. "Separating curvature and elevation: A parametric probability weighting function," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 39-65, August.
    8. 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.
    9. Ian Bateman & Alistair Munro, 2005. "An Experiment on Risky Choice Amongst Households," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(502), pages 176-189, March.
    10. Manel Baucells & Martin Weber & Frank Welfens, 2011. "Reference-Point Formation and Updating," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(3), pages 506-519, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bixter, Michael T. & Luhmann, Christian C., 2014. "Shared losses reduce sensitivity to risk: A laboratory study of moral hazard," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 63-73.
    2. Natalia Montinari & Michela Rancan, 2013. "Social preferences under risk : the role of social distance," RSCAS Working Papers 2013/90, European University Institute.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    risk attitude; prospect theory; social norms; responsibility; other-regarding preferences;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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