Keep up with the winners: Experimental evidence on risk taking, asset integration, and peer effects

Marcel Fafchamps, Bereket Kebede, Daniel Zizzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


The paper reports the result of an experimental game on asset integration and risk taking. We find some evidence that winnings in earlier rounds affect risk taking in subsequent rounds, but no evidence that real life wealth outside the experiment affects risk taking. Controlling for past winnings, participants receiving a low endowment in a round engage in more risk taking. We test a ‘keeping-up-with-the-Joneses’ hypothesis and find that subjects seek to keep up with winners, though not necessarily with average earnings. Overall, the evidence suggests that risk taking tracks a reference point affected by social comparisons.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-79
Number of pages21
JournalEuropean Economic Review
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015


  • Risk
  • Asset integration
  • Social comparisons
  • Prospect theory

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