How do prior outcomes affect risk attitude?

Weber, Martin ; Zuchel, Heiko

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URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-2771
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2003
The title of a journal, publication series: None
Publication language: English
Institution: Business School > Sonstige - Fakultät für Betriebswirtschaftslehre
MADOC publication series: Lehrstuhl für ABWL, Finanzwirtschaft, insb. Bankbetriebslehre (Weber) > Working Papers
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: C 91 ,
Subject headings (SWD): Risikoverhalten
Abstract: Modelling choice in multi-period asset pricing requires assumptions about how prior outcomes affect risk attitude. We present an experimental study of the influence of prior outcomes on risky choice. We document a strong framing effect. By manipulating the presentation format of the decision problem we can induce increased risk taking following a gain, i.e. the house-money effect (Thaler and Johnson 1990) or, alternatively, increased risk taking following a loss, i.e. escalation of commitment (Staw 1976). Maximization of a value function from prospect theory can explain some of our results. Escalation of commitment in our experiment does not appear to be driven by a need to justify or rationalize the initial decision.
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