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Choice under risk has a large stochastic (unpredictable) component. This chapter examines five stochastic models for binary discrete choice under risk and how they combine…
Choice under risk has a large stochastic (unpredictable) component. This chapter examines five stochastic models for binary discrete choice under risk and how they combine with “structural” theories of choice under risk. Stochastic models are substantive theoretical hypotheses that are frequently testable in and of themselves, and also identifying restrictions for hypothesis tests, estimation and prediction. Econometric comparisons suggest that for the purpose of prediction (as opposed to explanation), choices of stochastic models may be far more consequential than choices of structures such as expected utility or rank-dependent utility.
Agricultural insurance has become increasingly important to farmers' livelihood and production in rural China. Yet despite the enormous governmental subsidizing efforts…
Agricultural insurance has become increasingly important to farmers' livelihood and production in rural China. Yet despite the enormous governmental subsidizing efforts, the insurance participation rate remains below expectations. This study revisits the linkage between farmers' risk attitudes and crop insurance utilization by providing a cross-cutting perspective such that the role of risk aversion is re-scrutinized in Chinese “kindred” village economies.
The authors administrated a lottery-based multiple price list (MPL) experiment by recruiting rice farmers from 12 villages in Sichuan province in southwestern China. Using the experimental data, farmers' risk attitudes are assessed and coefficients of risk aversion are estimated within the rank-dependent expected utility (RDEU) framework by maximizing a structured likelihood function.
This study provides substantiating evidence that rice farmers in southwestern China exhibit relatively high risk aversion. The authors also provide suggestive evidence of the positive relationship between farmers' risk aversion and crop insurance utilization. In addition, findings reveal that kinship network has a negative effect on crop insurance utilization, such that farmers who are connected in higher degree of kinship network have lower likelihood of crop insurance utilization, which suggests that kinship network may be substitute for formal crop insurance. Result also demonstrates that the incentive effect of risk aversion on farmers' crop insurance participation manifests differently depending on the degree of kinship network in rural China.
This study provides a cross-cutting perspective by scrutinizing the effects of farmers' risk attitudes and kinship network on crop insurance participation in rural China, which has received relatively little attention in the literature. Conclusions on the effects of risk aversion on crop insurance participation have been mixed in previous studies. In addition, to the best of our knowledge, little has been done to explicitly examine the influence of social proximity and networks on farmers' insurance uptake. This study attempts to fill both gaps. This study provides new insights which might shed lights on the understanding of farmers' crop insurance participation in rural China.
We present the results of a questionnaire study with Belgian undergraduate students as respondents. We consider the relationship between people’s direct ethical…
We present the results of a questionnaire study with Belgian undergraduate students as respondents. We consider the relationship between people’s direct ethical preferences, their preferences behind a veil of ignorance, and their purely individual risk preferences over income distributions. The results reveal that, although there are important similarities between the three types of preferences, the first and third types form two extremes, while the second type lies in between the other two. Consistency of response patterns with the expected utility (EU) and rank-dependent expected utility (RDEU) models – natural analogues of the social welfare functions most frequently used in the literature on inequality and social welfare – is tested as well. For all three types of preferences the results reveal that, in the considered context, the RDEU model does not add explanatory power to the EU model. However, preferences appear to be relatively well described by some of the basic concepts from non-expected utility theory not usually considered in the income distribution literature.
Purpose – This experimental economics study using brain imaging techniques investigates the risk-ambiguity distinction in relation to the source preference hypothesis (Fox…
Purpose – This experimental economics study using brain imaging techniques investigates the risk-ambiguity distinction in relation to the source preference hypothesis (Fox & Tversky, 1995) in which identically distributed risks arising from different sources of uncertainty may engender distinct preferences for the same decision maker, contrary to classical economic thinking. The use of brain imaging enables sharper testing of the implications of different models of decision-making including Chew and Sagi's (2008) axiomatization of source preference.
Methodology/approach – Using fMRI, brain activations were observed when subjects make 48 sequential binary choices among even-chance lotteries based on whether the trailing digits of a number of stock prices at market closing would be odd or even. Subsequently, subjects rate familiarity of the stock symbols.
Findings – When contrasting brain activation from more familiar sources with those from less familiar ones, regions appearing to be more active include the putamen, medial frontal cortex, and superior temporal gyrus. ROI analysis showed that the activation patterns in the familiar–unfamiliar and unfamiliar–familiar contrasts are similar to those in the risk–ambiguity and ambiguity–risk contrasts reported by Hsu et al. (2005). This supports the conjecture that the risk-ambiguity distinction can be subsumed by the source preference hypothesis.
Research limitations/implications – Our odd–even design has the advantage of inducing the same “unambiguous” probability of half for each subject in each binary comparison. Our finding supports the implications of the Chew–Sagi model and rejects models based on global probabilistic sophistication, including rank-dependent models derived from non-additive probabilities, e.g., Choquet expected utility and cumulative prospect theory, as well as those based on multiple priors, e.g., α-maxmin. The finding in Hsu et al. (2005) that orbitofrontal cortex lesion patients display neither ambiguity aversion nor risk aversion offers further support to the Chew–Sagi model. Our finding also supports the Levy et al. (2007) contention of a single valuation system encompassing risk and ambiguity aversion.
Originality/value of chapter – This is the first neuroimaging study of the source preference hypothesis using a design which can discriminate among decision models ranging from risk-based ones to those relying on multiple priors.
This paper investigates whether individuals’ risk-taking behavior is affected by background risk by analyzing individuals’ choices over a series of lotteries in a…
This paper investigates whether individuals’ risk-taking behavior is affected by background risk by analyzing individuals’ choices over a series of lotteries in a laboratory setting in the presence and absence of independent, uncorrelated background risks. Overall, our results were mixed. We found some support for the notion that individuals were more risk averse when faced with the introduction of an unfair or mean-preserving background risk than when no background risk was present, but this finding depends on how individuals incorporate endowments and background gains and losses into their utility functions and how error variance is modeled.