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Lost in state space : are preferences stable ?

Andersen, S. and Lau, M. I. and Harrison, G. W. and Rutstrom, E. (2008) 'Lost in state space : are preferences stable ?', International economic review., 49 (3). pp. 1091-1112.


We use field experiments to examine the temporal stability of risk preferences. Over a 17-month period, we elicited risk preferences from subjects chosen to be representative of the adult Danish population. During this period we revisited many of these subjects and repeated a risk aversion elicitation task. We find some variation in risk attitudes over time, but we do not detect a general tendency for risk attitudes to increase or decrease over a 17-month span. The results also suggest that risk preferences are state contingent with respect to personal finances.

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Date of first online publication:August 2008
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