Risk Preferences and Expected Utility: Evidence from Labor Supply Data
Megan De Linde Leonard
affiliation not provided to SSRN
Economic Inquiry, Vol. 50, Issue 1, pp. 264-276, 2012
This paper adds to the growing body of evidence that observed risk preferences are not consistent with expected‐utility theory. Using the link between labor supply decisions and utility as outlined by Chetty (“A Bound on Risk Aversion Using Labor Supply Elasticities.” The American Economic Review, 96(5), 2006, 1821–34), I compute the curvature of utility over wealth for 3,900 individuals in the 1996 Panel Study of Income Dynamics. I then compare this estimate to a measure of relative risk aversion based on the respondents' answers to hypothetical gambling questions and find virtually zero correlation. Finally, I investigate how the two measures and their correlations change by demographic groups and risky behavior.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 13
JEL Classification: C81, D80, J22Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: January 6, 2012
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