Does Nurture Matter: Theory and Experimental Investigation on the Effect of Working Environment on Risk and Time Preferences
Posted: 13 Jul 2011
Date Written: July 12, 2011
Building upon the reference dependence preferences model, we develop a theoretical framework to examine the relationship between environment and preferences. To verify the model’s prediction, we use a combined artefactual field experiment and household survey data in Vietnam to investigate whether involvement is risky and has long-run targeted benefits, thereby causing fishermen to exhibit different risk and time preferences than workers in other occupations. Using a structural model approach, we integrate prospect theory and hyperbolic time discounting into a single framework, to simultaneously estimate and correlate the parameters of both risk and time preferences with other demographic variables. The key finding that fishermen are found to be less risk-averse and more patient than others asserts the theoretical prediction about the influence of the working environment on preferences.
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