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Loss Aversion? Not with Half-a-Million on the Table!


Blavatskyy, Pavlo R; Pogrebna, Ganna (2006). Loss Aversion? Not with Half-a-Million on the Table! Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics No. 274, University of Zurich.

Abstract

In the television show Affari Tuoi a contestant is endowed with a sealed box containing anmonetary prize between one cent and half a million euros. In the course of the show the contestant is offered to exchange her box for another sealed box with the samendistribution of possible monetary prizes inside. This offers a unique natural laboratory for testing the predictions of expected utility theory versus prospect theory using lotteries with large stakes. While expected utility theory predicts that an individual is exactly indifferent between accepting and rejecting the exchange offer, prospect theory predictsnthat an individual should always reject the exchange offer due to the assumption of loss aversion. We find that the assumption of loss aversion is violated by 46 percent of all contestants in our recorded sample. Thus, contestants do not appear to be predominantly loss averse when dealing with lotteries involving large stakes.

Abstract

In the television show Affari Tuoi a contestant is endowed with a sealed box containing anmonetary prize between one cent and half a million euros. In the course of the show the contestant is offered to exchange her box for another sealed box with the samendistribution of possible monetary prizes inside. This offers a unique natural laboratory for testing the predictions of expected utility theory versus prospect theory using lotteries with large stakes. While expected utility theory predicts that an individual is exactly indifferent between accepting and rejecting the exchange offer, prospect theory predictsnthat an individual should always reject the exchange offer due to the assumption of loss aversion. We find that the assumption of loss aversion is violated by 46 percent of all contestants in our recorded sample. Thus, contestants do not appear to be predominantly loss averse when dealing with lotteries involving large stakes.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Institute for Empirical Research in Economics (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:March 2006
Deposited On:29 Nov 2011 22:47
Last Modified:12 Aug 2017 13:01
Series Name:Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics
ISSN:1424-0459
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/wp.html

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