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Preferences and biases in educational choices and labor market expectations: shrinking the black box of gender
Standard observed characteristics explain only part of the differences between men and women in education choices and labor market trajectories. Using an experiment to derive students' levels of overconfidence, and preferences for competitiveness and risk, this paper investigates whether these behavioral biases and preferences explain gender differences in college major choices and expected future earnings. In a sample of high-ability undergraduates, we find that competitiveness and overconfidence, but not risk aversion, are systematically related with expectations about future earnings: ...
Anxiety and pro-cyclical risk taking with Bayesian agents
We provide a model that can explain empirically relevant variations in confidence and risk taking by combining horizon-dependent risk aversion (?anxiety?) and selective memory in a Bayesian intrapersonal game. In the time series, overconfidence is more prevalent when actual risk levels are high, while underconfidence occurs when risks are low. In the cross section, more anxious agents are more prone to biased confidence and their beliefs fluctuate more. This systematic variation in confidence levels can lead to objectively excessive risk taking by ?insiders? with the potential to amplify ...
Overconfidence, Subjective Perception, and Pricing Behavior
We study the implications of overconfidence for price setting in a monopolistic competition setup with incomplete information. Our price-setters overestimate their abilities to infer aggregate shocks from private signals. The fraction of uninformed firms is endogenous; firms can obtain information by paying a fixed cost. We find two results: (1) overconfident firms are less inclined to acquire information, and (2) prices might exhibit excess volatility driven by nonfundamental noise. We explore the empirical predictions of our model for idiosyncratic price volatility.
Are People Overconfident about Avoiding COVID-19?
More than six months into the COVID-19 outbreak, the number of new cases in the United States remains at an elevated level. One potential reason is a lack of preventative efforts either because people believe that the pandemic will be short-lived or because they underestimate their own chance of infection despite it being a public risk. To understand these possibilities, we elicit people’s perceptions of COVID-19 as a public health concern and a personal concern over the next three months to the following three years within the May administration of the Survey of Consumer Expectations ...