International Journal of Economic Theory

Risk attitude in lotteries offering real products and monetary outcomes

Journal Article

Using two auction mechanisms, the second price auction and the Becker, DeGroot, and Marschak mechanism, we examined individuals’ buying and selling bidding patterns in three types of binary lotteries: a lottery offering only real products, a lottery offering only monetary outcomes and mixed lotteries offering both real products and monetary value outcomes. Participants’ willingness to pay and willingness to accept for the product lottery suggest risk neutrality. In contrast, participants’ bidding prices for the monetary and mixed lotteries suggest risk aversion. These findings suggest that an individual's risk attitude depends upon the type of lottery, perhaps indicating a “product illusion.”

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