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Stochastic Expected Utility and Prospect Theory in a Horse Race: A Finite Mixture Approach


Bruhin, Adrian (2008). Stochastic Expected Utility and Prospect Theory in a Horse Race: A Finite Mixture Approach. Working paper series / Socioeconomic Institute No. 803, University of Zurich.

Abstract

This study compares the performance of Prospect Theory versus Stochastic Expected Utility Theory at fitting data on decision making under risk. Both theories incorporate well-known deviations from Expected Utility Maximization such as the Allais paradox or the fourfold pattern of risk attitudes. Stochastic Expected Utility Theory parsimoniously extends the standard microeconomic model, whereas Prospect Theory, the benchmark for aggregate choice so far, is based on psychological findings. First, the two theories' fit to representative choice is assessed for two experimental data sets, one Swiss and one Chinese. In a second step, finite mixture regressions reveal a consistent mix of two different behavioral types suggesting that researchers may take individual heterogeneity into account in order to avoid aggregation bias.

This study compares the performance of Prospect Theory versus Stochastic Expected Utility Theory at fitting data on decision making under risk. Both theories incorporate well-known deviations from Expected Utility Maximization such as the Allais paradox or the fourfold pattern of risk attitudes. Stochastic Expected Utility Theory parsimoniously extends the standard microeconomic model, whereas Prospect Theory, the benchmark for aggregate choice so far, is based on psychological findings. First, the two theories' fit to representative choice is assessed for two experimental data sets, one Swiss and one Chinese. In a second step, finite mixture regressions reveal a consistent mix of two different behavioral types suggesting that researchers may take individual heterogeneity into account in order to avoid aggregation bias.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Socioeconomic Institute (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
JEL Classification:D81, C49
Language:English
Date:March 2008
Deposited On:29 Nov 2011 22:47
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:12
Series Name:Working paper series / Socioeconomic Institute
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/wp.html
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-52391

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