Loss Attitudes in the U.S. Population: Evidence from Dynamically Optimized Sequential Experimentation (Dose)

55 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2018

See all articles by Jonathan Chapman

Jonathan Chapman

New York University (NYU) - New York University Abu Dhabi

Erik Snowberg

California Institute of Technology - Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Stephanie Wang

University of Pittsburgh

Colin Camerer

California Institute of Technology - Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 2018

Abstract

We introduce DOSE - Dynamically Optimized Sequential Experimentation - and use it to estimate individual-level loss aversion in a representative sample of the U.S. population (N=2,000). DOSE elicitations are more accurate, more stable across time, and faster to administer than standard methods. We find that around 50% of the U.S. population is loss tolerant. This is counter to earlier findings, which mostly come from lab/student samples, that a strong majority of participants are loss averse. Loss attitudes are correlated with cognitive ability: loss aversion is more prevalent in people with high cognitive ability, and loss tolerance is more common in those with low cognitive ability. We also use DOSE to document facts about risk and time preferences, indicating a high potential for DOSE in future research.

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Suggested Citation

Chapman, Jonathan and Snowberg, Erik and Wang, Stephanie and Camerer, Colin F., Loss Attitudes in the U.S. Population: Evidence from Dynamically Optimized Sequential Experimentation (Dose) (September 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3254047

Jonathan Chapman (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) - New York University Abu Dhabi ( email )

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Erik Snowberg

California Institute of Technology - Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Stephanie Wang

University of Pittsburgh ( email )

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Colin F. Camerer

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