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Risk preferences and development revisited

Journal article
Authors Peter Martinsson
P. K. Nam
N. Truong
Published in Theory and Decision
Volume 86
Issue 1
Pages 1-21
ISSN 0040-5833
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Economics
Pages 1-21
Language en
Keywords Risk preferences, Development, Prospect theory, prospect-theory, time-preferences, cotton farmers, attitudes, aversion, probability, heterogeneity, adoption, choice, foundations, Business & Economics, Mathematical Methods In Social Sciences
Subject categories Business Administration


We obtain rich measures of the risk preferences of a sample of Vietnamese farmers, and revisit the link between risk preferences and economic well-being. Far from being particularly risk averse, our farmers are on average risk neutral and, thus, more risk tolerant than typical Western subject populations. This generalises recent findings indicating that students in poorer countries are more risk tolerant than students in richer countries to a general population sample. Risk aversion is, furthermore, negatively correlated with income within our sample, but does not correlate with wealth. This also casts doubt on high levels of risk aversion causing failure to adopt new technologies, which we discuss.

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