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WHO REALLY WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE? ESTIMATES OF RISK AVERSION FROM GAMESHOW DATA

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SUMMARY

This paper estimates the degree of risk aversion from one of the most popular TV gameshows ever. The format of the show is straightforward; it involves no strategic decision making; we have a large number of observations; and the prizes are cash, which is paid immediately and covers a large range: from £100 up to £1 million. We provide non-parametric estimates of the utility function and then we test some parametric restrictions. We find that, although the restriction to CRRA utility is statistically rejected, a log function approximates the utility function quite well over a large range of potential winnings. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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