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Developments in non-expected utility theories: an empirical study of risk aversion

Dorsaf Ben Aissia ()
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Dorsaf Ben Aissia: University of Manouba

Journal of Economics and Finance, 2016, vol. 40, issue 2, pages 299-318

Abstract: Abstract This paper investigates different developments in non-expected utility theories. Our focus is to study the agent’s attitude towards risk in a context of monetary gambles. Based on simulated data of the “Deal or No Deal” TV game show, we first compare the performance of the expected utility model versus a loss-aversion model. We find that the loss-aversion model has a better performance compared to the expected utility model. We then study the attitude towards risk according to two parameters: the relative risk aversion coefficient defined over the value function and the probability weighting coefficient proposed by the Cumulative Prospect Theory. We find evidence for probability weighting being undertaken by contestants reflecting less risk aversion over large stakes. We also explore the performance of two models of rank-dependant utility: the Quiggin (1982) and the power probability weighting models. We find that the probability weighting coefficient is still significant for both models. Finally, we integrate initial wealth into the contestants’ preferences function and we show that the initial wealth level affects the estimates of risk attitudes.

Keywords: Non-expected utility theories; Agent’s attitude towards risk; Deal or No Deal TV game show; Loss-aversion model; Rank-dependant utility (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D81 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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