A Behavioral Analysis of Stochastic Reference Dependence

Yusufcan Masatlioglu and Collin Raymond, American Economic Review 106(9), 2760-2782, September 2016.

We examine the reference-dependent risk preferences of Koszegi and Rabin (2007), focusing on their choice-acclimating personal equilibria. Although their model has only a trivial intersection (expected utility) with other reference-dependent models, it has very strong connections with models that rely on different psychological intuitions. We prove that the intersection of rank-dependent utility and quadratic utility, two well-known generalizations of expected utility, is exactly monotone linear gain-loss choice-acclimating personal equilibria. We use these relationships to identify parameters of the model, discuss loss and risk aversion, and demonstrate new applications.

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