Decision Makers Facing Uncertainty: Theory Versus Evidence
Title: Decision Makers Facing Uncertainty: Theory Versus Evidence
Publisher: Elsevier Science Bv
Citation: Journal of Economic Psychology, 2010, 31, 4, 659-675
This paper aims at assessing cultural differences in uncertainty attitude across Europe. We select questions from the European Values Survey (EVS) capturing salient features of uncertain scenarios (safe versus uncertain, freedom of choice and reduction of uncertainty), and formalize these questions through simple decision-theoretic problems. We then consider three competing normative models of choice under uncertainty (subjective expected utility (SEU), maximin utility and minimax regret), and analyze how they behave when facing each decision problem. We obtain theoretical predictions and, using the EVS dataset, we test them via latent class analysis to estimate the distribution of these behaviors across EU15. We find a larger proportion of SEU maximizers (Bayesians) in northern countries than in southern countries. The opposite is true for maximin utility behavior. Only a few are consistent with minimax regret behavior. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Subject: Uncertainty; Maximin; Minimax regret; Bayesianism; Cross-cultural differences; European Values Survey; Latent class analysis
Revised version of EUI MWP WP 2007/27
Initial version: http://hdl.handle.net/1814/7362
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