[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Experimental and theoretical analysis has shown that the conventional expected utility (EU) and subjective expected utility (SEU) models, which are linear in probabilities, have serious limitations in certain situations. We argue here that these limitations are often highly relevant to the work that environmental and natural resource economists do. We discuss some of the experimental evidence and alternatives to the SEU. We consider the theory used, the problems studied, and the methods employed by resource economists. Finally, we highlight some recent work that has begun to use some of the alternatives to the EU and SEU frameworks and discuss areas where much future work is needed.
Resource and Energy Economics. 01/2008; 30(1):66-89.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: If participation in the labour market helps to secure women's outside options in the case of divorce/separation, an increase in the perceived risk of marital dissolution may accelerate the increase in female labour supply. This simple prediction has been tested in the literature using time and/or spatial variation in divorce legislation (e.g., across US states), leading to mixed results. In this paper, we suggest testing this hypothesis by exploiting a more radical policy change, i.e., the legalization of divorce. In Ireland, the right to divorce was introduced in 1996, followed by an acceleration of marriage breakdown rates. We use this fundamental change in the Irish society as a natural experiment. We follow a difference-in-difference approach, using families for whom the dissolution risk is small as a control group. Our results suggest that the legalization of divorce contributed to a significant increase in female labour supply, mostly at the extensive margin. Results are not driven by selection and are robust to several specification checks, including the introduction of household fixed effects and an improved match between control and treatment groups using propensity score reweighting.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We compare the inflation expectations reported by consumers in a survey with their behavior in a financially incentivized investment experiment designed such that future inflation affects payoffs. The inflation expectations survey is found to be informative in the sense that the beliefs reported by the respondents are correlated with their choices in the experiment. Furthermore, most respondents appear to act on their inflation expectations showing patterns consistent (both in direction and magnitude) with expected utility theory. Respondents whose behavior cannot be rationalized tend to be less educated and to score lower on a numeracy and financial literacy scale. These findings are therefore the first to provide support to the microfoundations of modern macroeconomic models.
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