Is Allocation Affected by the Perception of Others' Irresponsible Behavior and by Ambiguity?

Zvi Safra, Sinong Ma, Tigran Melkonyan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article examines how the perception of others' irresponsible behavior and ambiguity regarding probabilities affect allocation among potential beneficiaries. To elicit these views, we conducted a survey where the participants were first asked to make an allocation of a fixed sum of money between a hereditary cancer, where chance plays a central role, and a lifestyle-related cancer, where individual lifestyle decisions are more important. Our estimation results show that a substantial share of the respondents allocate significantly more to the hereditary cancer. This may indicate that these respondents care about others' irresponsible behavior. Then, we elicited perceptions of cancer hazards in the form of imprecise probabilities and examined the interplay between allocating behavior and risk perceptions. Finally, we investigated the effects of various socioeconomic characteristics, and of awareness of highly publicized cancer cases, on respondents' allocations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2182-2196
Number of pages15
JournalRisk Analysis
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Ambiguity
  • charitable contributions
  • ethics
  • moral considerations
  • responsibility


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