Unexpected Utility: Experimental Tests of Five Key Questions about Preferences over Risk

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dc.contributor.author Andreoni, James
dc.contributor.author Harbaugh, William
dc.date.accessioned 2011-02-28T23:16:45Z
dc.date.available 2011-02-28T23:16:45Z
dc.date.issued 2009-12
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1794/11000
dc.description 28 p. en_US
dc.description.abstract Experimental work on preferences over risk has typically considered choices over a small number of discrete options, some of which involve no risk. Such experiments often demonstrate contradictions of standard expected utility theory. We reconsider this literature with a new preference elicitation device that allows a continuous choice space over only risky options. Our analysis assumes only that preferences depend on the probability p and prize x; U = u(p; x): We then allow subjects to choose p and x continuously on a linear budget constraint, r1p + r2x = m, so that all prospects with a nonzero expected value are risky. We test five of the most importantly debated questions about risk preferences: rationality, prospect theory asymmetry, the independence axiom, probability weighting, and constant relative risk aversion. Overall, we find that the expected utility model does unexpectedly well. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher University of Oregon, Dept of Economics en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers;2010-14
dc.title Unexpected Utility: Experimental Tests of Five Key Questions about Preferences over Risk en_US
dc.type Working Paper en_US

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