Heterogeneity in preferences towards complexity

Moffatt, Peter G., Sitzia, Stefania and Zizzo, Daniel John (2015) Heterogeneity in preferences towards complexity. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 51 (2). pp. 147-170. ISSN 1573-0476

[thumbnail of 3290 final version]
PDF (3290 final version) - Accepted Version
Download (1MB) | Preview


We analyze lottery-choice data in a way that separately estimates the effects of risk aversion and complexity aversion. Complexity is represented by the number of different outcomes in the lottery. A finite mixture random effects model is estimated which assumes that a proportion of the population are complexity-neutral. We find that around 33% of the population are complexity-neutral, around 50% complexity-averse, and the remaining 17% are complexity-loving. Subjects who do react to complexity appear to have a bias towards complexity aversion at the start of the experiment, but complexity aversion reduces with experience, to the extent that the average subject is (almost) complexity-neutral by the end of the experiment. Complexity aversion is found to increase with age and to be higher for non-UK students than for UK students. We also find some evidence that, when evaluating complex lotteries, subjects perceive probabilities in accordance with Prospective Reference Theory.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: complexity aversion,complexity preferences,risk preferences,mixture models,learning
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Economics
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Industrial Economics
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Applied Econometrics And Finance
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Centres > Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Behavioural Economics
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Environment, Resources and Conflict
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2015 07:30
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 23:57
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/55543
DOI: 10.1007/s11166-015-9226-3


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item