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Risk preferences and development revisited: A field experiment in Vietnam

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  • Vieider, Ferdinand M.
  • Truong, Nghi
  • Martinsson, Peter
  • Pham Khanh Nam
  • Martinsson, Peter

Abstract

We obtain rich measures of risk preferences of poor farmers in Vietnam, and estimate structural models that capture risk preferences over different probability levels and across different domains (gains and losses). The results break radically with the previous literature on risk preferences, in developed and developing countries alike. Far from being particularly risk averse, our Vietnamese farmers are on average risk neutral. At the same time, we find our preference measures to perform well at predicting behavior, from the purchase of lottery tickets to risk management on the farm. We also find strong direct evidence of a risk-income paradox. While risk aversion is strongly decreasing in income within our farmer subject population, our Vietnamese farmers are significantly less risk averse than subjects in Western countries according to measurements obtained using the same decision tasks and procedures.

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  • Vieider, Ferdinand M. & Truong, Nghi & Martinsson, Peter & Pham Khanh Nam & Martinsson, Peter, 2013. "Risk preferences and development revisited: A field experiment in Vietnam," Discussion Papers, WZB Junior Research Group Risk and Development SP II 2013-403, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbrad:spii2013403
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    Cited by:

    1. Menkhoff, Lukas & Sakha, Sahra, 2017. "Estimating risky behavior with multiple-item risk measures," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 59-86.
    2. Thomas McGregor, 2017. "Pricing sovereign debt in resource rich economies," OxCarre Working Papers 194, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
    3. Menkhoff, Lukas & Sakha, Sahra, 2014. "Multiple-item risk measures," Kiel Working Papers 1980, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    4. Ferdinand Vieider & Thorsten Chmura & Tyler Fisher & Takao Kusakawa & Peter Martinsson & Frauke Mattison Thompson & Adewara Sunday, 2015. "Within- versus between-country differences in risk attitudes: implications for cultural comparisons," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 78(2), pages 209-218, February.

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    Keywords

    risk preferences; development; external validity;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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