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Absolute vs. Relative Notion of Wealth Changes

Kontek, Krzysztof (2009): Absolute vs. Relative Notion of Wealth Changes.

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Abstract

This paper discusses solutions derived from lottery experiments using two alternative assumptions: that people perceive wealth changes as absolute amounts of money; and that people consider wealth changes as a proportion of some reference value dependant on the context of the problem under consideration. The former assumption leads to the design of Prospect Theory, the latter - to a solution closely resembling the utility function hypothesized by Markowitz (1952). This paper presents several crucial arguments for the latter approach and provides strong arguments for rejecting the Prospect Theory paradigm.

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