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Do Fishermen Have Different Attitudes Toward Risk? An Application of Prospect Theory to the Study of Vietnamese Fishermen

  • Economics


Field experiment and household survey data are combined to investigate whether working in a risky occupation such as fishing makes fishermen have different risk preferences than individuals in other occupations. Prospect theory is utilized as the main analytical framework and a structural model approach is developed to simultaneously correlate the parameters of the utility function under prospect theory with other socioeconomic variables. The key finding is that working in fishing makes economic agents less risk averse than others. Fishermen also tend to be less sensitive to probability weighting changes in the experiment. It is possible that fishermen have adapted to their unique environment by using specific heuristics for decision making under conditions of uncertainty.

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