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Risk attitudes, development, and growth: macroeconomic evidence from experiments in 30 countries

[working paper]

Vieider, Ferdinand M.; Chmura, Thorsten; Martinsson, Peter

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://hdl.handle.net/10419/66905

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Corporate Editor Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung gGmbH
Abstract We measure risk attitudes in 30 different countries in a controlled, incentivized experiment (N = 3025). At the macroeconomic level, we find a strong and highly significant negative correlation between the risk tolerance of a country and income per capita. This gives rise to a paradox, seen that risk tolerance has been found to be positively associated with personal income within countries. We show that this paradox can be explained by unified growth theory. These results are consistent with the prediction that risk attitudes act as a transmission mechanism for growth by encouraging entrepreneurship. Furthermore, our study shows that risk attitudes vary considerably between countries and that for typical experimental stakes, risk seeking or neutrality is just as frequent as risk aversion. (author's abstract)
Keywords intercultural comparison; risk behavior; economic growth; international comparison; income; correlation; macroeconomics; experiment; measurement
Classification Economic Policy
Document language English
Publication Year 2012
City Berlin
Page/Pages 40 p.
Series Discussion Papers / Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung, Forschungsschwerpunkt Markt und Entscheidung, WZB-Nachwuchsgruppe Risiko und Entwicklung, SP II 2012-401
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications