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Composition rules in original and cumulative prospect theory

Richard Gonzalez () and George Wu ()
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Richard Gonzalez: University of Michigan
George Wu: University of Chicago

Theory and Decision, 2022, vol. 92, issue 3, No 11, 647-675

Abstract: Abstract Original and cumulative prospect theory differ in the composition rule used to combine the probability weighting function and the value function. We test the predictive power of these composition rules by performing a novel out-of-sample prediction test. We apply estimates of prospect theory’s weighting and value function obtained from two-outcome cash equivalents, a domain where original and cumulative prospect theory coincide, to three-outcome cash equivalents, a domain where the composition rules of the two theories differ. Although both forms of prospect theory predict three-outcome cash equivalents very well, at the aggregate level, we find small but systematic under-prediction of cash equivalents for cumulative prospect theory and small but systematic over-prediction of cash equivalents for original prospect theory. We also observe substantial heterogeneity across subjects and types of gambles, some of which is accounted for by differences in the curvature and elevation of the weighting function across individuals. We also find differences in prediction related to whether the worst outcome is zero or non-zero.

Keywords: Prospect theory; Rank-dependent expected utility; Composition rules; Probability weighting function (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/s11238-022-09873-0

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