S-WoPEc
 
Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics
HomeAboutSeriesSubject/JEL codesAdvanced Search
Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) Discussion Paper Series in Economics, Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics (NHH)

No 8/2014:
Is There a Development Gap in Rationality?

Alexander W. Cappelen (), Shachar Kariv (), Erik Ø. Sørensen () and Bertil Tungodden ()

Abstract: We report an experimental test of the four touchstones of rationality in choice under risk – utility maximization, stochastic dominance, expected-utility maximization and small-stakes risk neutrality – with students from one of the best universities in the United States and one of the best universities in Africa, the University of Dar es Salaam. Although the US and the Tanzanian subjects come from different backgrounds and face different economic prospects, they are united by being among the most able in their societies. Importantly, many of whom will exercise an outsized influence over economic and political affairs. We find very small or no significant differences between the two samples in the degree of rationality according to a number of standard economic measures. An alternative approach is to take cognitive ability (IQ) as a proxy for economic rationality. We show that a canonical IQ test indicates a much larger development gap in rationality relative to our economic tests.

Keywords: Development; rationality; revealed preference; stochastic dominance; expected utility; risk aversion; cognitive ability; experiment.; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: D01; D03; D81; F61; F63; O12; (follow links to similar papers)

34 pages, January 28, 2014

Before downloading any of the electronic versions below you should read our statement on copyright.
Download GhostScript for viewing Postscript files and the Acrobat Reader for viewing and printing pdf files.

Full text versions of the paper:

SAM0814.pdf    PDF-file
Download Statistics

Questions (including download problems) about the papers in this series should be directed to Dagny Hanne Kristiansen ()
Report other problems with accessing this service to Sune Karlsson () or Helena Lundin ().

Programing by
Design by Joachim Ekebom

Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhheco:2014_008 This page was generated on 2014-12-14 19:25:09