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Home | Events Archive | Perceived Relative Wealth and Risk Taking

Perceived Relative Wealth and Risk Taking

  • Series
  • Speaker(s)
    Dietmar Fehr (Heidelberg University, Germany)
  • Location
    EUR Woudestein Campus, T3-14
  • Date and time

    May 13, 2022
    15:30 - 17:30


We show that perceptions of relative standing in the wealth distribution shape individuals' willingness to take risks. Using a representative large-scale survey, we manipulate perceptions of relative standing by randomly varying response categories when asking respondents about their wealth level. Respondents who are induced to perceive their relative position as low display more tolerance towards risk in a subsequent incentivized lottery task. This effect is mainly driven by individuals who more firmly believe that life outcomes are beyond their control.

This interaction between risk preferences and underlying beliefs spotlights the benefits of incorporating personality traits into economic analysis.

If you wish to attend the seminar or would like to have a bilateral with the speaker, please contact the seminar organizers Anne Boring (boring@ese.eur.nl) or Robert Dur (dur@ese.eur.nl).