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Aging and decision making: a comparison between neurologically healthy elderly and young individuals

Kovalchik, Stephanie and Camerer, Colin F. and Grether, David M. and Plott, Charles R. and Allman, John M. (2005) Aging and decision making: a comparison between neurologically healthy elderly and young individuals. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 58 (1). pp. 79-94. ISSN 0167-2681. doi:10.1016/j.jebo.2003.12.001.

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We report the results of experiments on economic decisions with two populations, one of healthy elderly individuals (average age 82) and one of younger students (average age 20). We examine confidence, decisions under uncertainty, differences between willingness to pay and willingness to accept and the theory of mind (strategic thinking). Our findings indicate that the older adults’ decision behavior is similar to that of young adults, contrary to the notion that economic decision making is impaired with age. Moreover, some of the demonstrated decision behaviors suggest that the elderly individuals are less biased than the younger individuals.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle ItemWorking Paper
Camerer, Colin F.0000-0003-4049-1871
Additional Information:© 2004 Elsevier B.V. Received 17 March 2003; accepted 15 December 2003. Available online 15 December 2004. We thank Dr. Gail Murdock and Dr. Linda Clark, from the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, who coordinated the recruitment of the older population and provided demographic data for these subjects.We also thank Kathy Zeiler for her assistance with the loss-aversion methodology, as well as Neda Afsarmanesh for her involvement in the questionnaire design. The financial support of the National Science Foundation, the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship at the California Institute of Technology, the Arthur R. Adams Fellowship, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation are gratefully acknowledged.For their reading of and helpful responses to early versions of our paper, we thank an Associate Editor and an anonymous referee.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Caltech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)UNSPECIFIED
Arthur R. Adams FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:age; overconfidence; willingness to pay/accept; endowment effect; theory of mind; game theory; risk-taking
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Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Social Science Working Paper1180
Issue or Number:1
Classification Code:JEL classification: D00; D80; D81
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110204-102649257
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Official Citation:Stephanie Kovalchik, Colin F. Camerer, David M. Grether, Charles R. Plott, John M. Allman, Aging and decision making: a comparison between neurologically healthy elderly and young individuals, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Volume 58, Issue 1, September 2005, Pages 79-94, ISSN 0167-2681, DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2003.12.001. (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:22013
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:11 Feb 2011 23:11
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 16:02

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