On probabilities and loss aversion

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This paper reviews the most common approaches that have been adopted to analyze and describe loss aversion under prospect theory. Subsequently, it is argued that loss aversion is a property of observable choice behavior and two new definitions of loss averse behavior are advocated. Under prospect theory, the new properties hold if the commonly used utility based measures of loss aversion are corrected by a probability based measure of loss aversion and their product exceeds 1. It is shown that prominent parametric families of weighting functions, while successful in accommodating empirical findings on probabilistic risk attitudes, may not fit well with the theoretical implications of the new loss averse behavior conditions. © The Author(s) 2009.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-261
Number of pages18
JournalTheory and Decision
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Choice behavior
  • Loss aversion
  • Probability weighting
  • Prospect theory
  • Utility


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