Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Three Essays on Economics and Risk Perception
by Hwang, Yun Jae, Ph.D., The Ohio State University, 2006, 132; 10835703
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation consists of 3 essays involving economics and risk perception. In the first essay, U.S. consumers' ratings of concern toward eight food production and processing technologies are analyzed using a representative sample of U.S. consumers. Concern is highest for pesticides and hormones, followed by concern toward antibiotics, genetic modification and irradiation. Standard relationships between demographic, economic and attitude variables and the average concern level are documented. The essay identifies three clusters of technologies that engender similar patterns of concern ratings among respondents and estimates models that correlate key personal and household characteristics to these underlying technology concern factors. It is found that several individual characteristics that yield little explanatory power for average ratings have discriminatory power for explaining concern across different technology clusters. The second essay analyzes consumers' use of price as a quality signal by testing for non-monotonicity of consumer demand in the price for genetically modified food using data collected from a nationally representative mail survey featuring several hypothetical choice scenarios. Mixed evidence was found across three products for non-monotonicity of demand in price. It is argued that survey respondents may use price as a signal of the quality of genetically modified products for at least one of the three products investigated. The third essay estimates individual poker players' utility functions and tests for the stability of this utility function across different phases of the game and across different strategic positions within the game using the data obtained from the World Poker Tour Series. A nonlinear probit model is used to estimate players' utility functions under CARA and CRRA utility specifications. The estimation results suggest that risk attitudes are not constant across strategic positions but are constant across phases of the game. Overall, players were risk averse regardless of the phase of the game. Amateur players might be less risk averse or rather risk neutral (or risk loving) than professional players. Also, players may display less risk aversion when playing last within a given round of betting than when moving earlier.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Roe, Brian
School: The Ohio State University
Department: Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 79/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Agricultural economics
Keywords: Food technology, Genetic modification, Quality signaling, Risk attitude, Risk perception
Publication Number: 10835703
ISBN: 978-0-355-96684-8
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