Risk taking on behalf of others: The role of social distance
Natalia Montinari () and
Michela Rancan ()
Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 2018, vol. 57, issue 1, No 4, 109 pages
Abstract Individuals take decisions on behalf of others in many different contexts. In this paper, we focus on lotteries with negative expected value and study if (and how) risky choices made on behalf of another person differ i) compared to decisions which do not affect anyone else, and ii) depending on the social distance between who makes the decision and who is affected by it. Our results show that social distance (i.e., whether the person affected by one’s decision is an unknown stranger or a friend) is an important determinant when people decide on behalf of others. Moreover, when deciding on behalf of a friend rather than only for themselves or a stranger, average individual behavior is closer to expected value maximization, exhibiting less risk taking. These findings suggest that responsibility for others’ outcome and the empathy gap affect the decision making process, particularly when the social distance is shortened. The results are robust to different feedback frequencies. Controlling for order effects shows that experiencing a decrease in social distance is crucial in activating this mechanism.
Keywords: Risk seeking; Social distance; Friends; Responsibility; Other-regarding preferences; Risky choices; Myopic loss aversion; A13; C91; D64; D81 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (10) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s11166-018-9286-2 Abstract (text/html)
Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:57:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11166-018-9286-2
Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.springer. ... ry/journal/11166/PS2
Access Statistics for this article
Journal of Risk and Uncertainty is currently edited by W. Kip Viscusi
More articles in Journal of Risk and Uncertainty from Springer
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla () and Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing ().