Behavioral Econometrics of Risk, Uncertainty, and Time Preference 2012

Posted On January 23, 2012

January 23, 2012 – January 27, 2012

Economics Building

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Deadline for applications is 15 July 2011

Among the most important variables affecting outcomes in microeconomic development initiatives among vulnerable groups are attitudes to risk and attitudes to the cost of waiting. The evaluation of any proposed policy to help people respond to uncertainty should take into account the aversion that some may have to risk, the subjective beliefs about risk, the manner in which risk-coping strategies might confound expectations of planners and agencies about future  outcomes,  and the extent  to which  intended  beneficiaries  of programs  are able and willing  to bear  costs  of waiting.  Many  of the problems  of development  in Africa  can be attributed, in large part, to (reasonable) aversion to risk, fear of losses, and unwillingness  to invest in projects that have higher returns but over longer horizons.  Yet, until now, the skills to empirically measure and test the effects of risk and uncertainty on development outcomes have not been generally available to  African scholars.

The  Research   Unit  in  Behavioural   Economics   and  Neuroeconomics   (RUBEN)   at  the University  of Cape  Town  and  the  Center  for  the  Economic  Analysis  of Risk  (CEAR)  at Georgia State University will be jointly hosting a five day training workshop on cutting edge empirical methods used in estimating individual attitudes towards risk and time. The primary theme of the workshop is the need for tight connections between theory, experimental design, and econometric method.

  • This workhop is intended to support the training of African researchers in world-class experimental  economics  research,  and at the same time to facilitate  research  collaboration with leading behavioural and experimental economics researchers on African issues.
  • Applicants   must   be  registered   postgraduate   students,   post-doctoral   fellows   or  faculty members  at African  academic  or research  institutions.  A background  in basic  statistics  is required. Familiarity  with  STATA  is  an  advantage,  but  workshop  applicants  who  lack STATA training could apply to attend a STATA pre-course which will be run in the week preceding this workshop.