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Migrations, risks, and uncertainty: A field experiment in China

Li Hao, Daniel Houser (), Lei Mao and Marie Claire Villeval ()
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Li Hao: Walton College - University of Arkansas
Lei Mao: GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

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Abstract: Using a field experiment in China, we study whether migration status is correlated with attitudes toward risk, ambiguity, and competitiveness. Our subjects include migrants and non-migrants. We find that, migrants exhibit no differences from non-migrants in risk and ambiguity preferences elicited using pairs of lotteries ; however, migrants are significantly more likely to enter competition in the presence of strategic uncertainty when they expect competitive entries from others. Our results suggest that migration may be driven more by a stronger belief in one's ability to succeed in an uncertain and competitive environment than by risk attitudes under state uncertainty.

Keywords: Migration; risk preferences; strategic uncertainty; ambiguity; field experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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Published in Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Elsevier, 2016, 131, part A, pp. 126-140

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