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Risk Taking under Accountability for Oneself and Others: A Laboratory Experiment

  • Co-Author:Prof. Jason Dana (Yale University)
  • Keywords: Experiment, Lottery Choice, Risk Aversion, Responsibility, Accountability

Project Details

We examine whether decisions made under accountability differ for self and others using lottery choice tasks that contain only positive amounts(gaining lottery), positive and negative amounts(mixed lottery) and mainly negative amounts (losing lottery). Accountability is ensured through letting participants hold up a sign with their seat number and their decision after the experiment. Perhaps surprisingly, we fnd that participants are significantly less risk averse for others than themselves in the gaining lottery, and slightly less risk averse for others in the mixed lottery. In the losing lottery, participants are equally risk averse for themselves as for others.

"People choose significantly less risk averse in the gaining domain but choose quite as risk averse as people who decide for their own outcome in the losing as well as in the mixed domain. A possible reason might be that people who decide for another person start to gamble when facing gains more than people who decide for their own payof."