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Risky choices in a natural experiment from Turkey: Var Mısın Yok Musun?

Ceyhun Elgin, Orhan Torul () and Ertunç Aydoğdu

Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), 2021, vol. 92, issue C

Abstract: In this paper, we study high-stakes risky choices of contestants in the Turkish edition of the popular TV game show Deal or No Deal. We conduct a large-scale replication of Post, Van den Assem, Baltussen, and Thaler (2008), and we investigate contestant behavior in Turkey in detail via the expected utility and cumulative prospect theory. We find strong empirical support on the role of path dependence in shaping risk attitudes: Turkish contestants who enjoy early gains or suffer early losses in the initial rounds of the game are more risk-lover than other contestants, which aligns well with the break-even and house-money effects à la Thaler and Johnson (1990). We also document that the cumulative prospect theory predicts contestant behavior better than the expected utility theory empirically. Finally, we demonstrate that risk aversion exhibits sizable heterogeneity over demographics, and female and university-graduate contestants are more risk-averse than their male and less-educated counterparts.

Keywords: Risk aversion; Expected utility theory; Cumulative prospect theory; Path dependence (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D81 D91 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2021.101685

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Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics) is currently edited by Ofer Azar

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