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Stochastically more risk averse: A contextual theory of stochastic discrete choice under risk

Wilcox, Nathaniel (2007): Stochastically more risk averse: A contextual theory of stochastic discrete choice under risk.

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Abstract

Microeconometric treatments of discrete choice under risk are typically homoscedastic latent variable models. Specifically, choice probabilities are given by preference functional differences (given by expected utility, rank-dependent utility, etc.) embedded in cumulative distribution functions. This approach has a problem: Estimated utility function parameters meant to represent agents’ degree of risk aversion in the sense of Pratt (1964) do not imply a suggested “stochastically more risk averse” relation within such models. A new heteroscedastic model called “contextual utility” remedies this, and estimates in one data set suggest it explains (and especially predicts) as well or better than other stochastic models.

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