Risk preferences in the small for a large population

We analyse risk preferences using an experiment with small-stake gambles and real incentives in a representative sample of 1,422 Dutch respondents. Our structural econometric model incorporates four individual-level parameters: Utility curvature, loss aversion,preferences towards the timing of uncertainty resolution, and the propensity to choose randomly rather than on the basis of preferences. The model incorporates observed and unobserved heterogeneity. We find that socio-economic and demographic variables are significantly correlated with preference parameters but are of minor importance compared to the unobserved heterogeneity component. All four parameters contribute to explaining the choices of the individuals in our sample, but preferences towards the timing ofuncertainty resolution play a smaller role than the others.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.


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