Risk-Taking with Multiplicative Background Risk: Experimental Evidence

Last registered on April 26, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

Risk-Taking with Multiplicative Background Risk: Experimental Evidence
Initial registration date
July 13, 2021

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
July 13, 2021, 9:39 AM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Last updated
April 26, 2022, 3:36 AM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.



Primary Investigator

Universit├Ąt Hamburg

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Universit├Ąt Hamburg
PI Affiliation
Tippie College of Business

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Multiplicative risk vulnerability determines whether an individual behaves in a more risk averse way in the presence of a multiplicative background risk. We add a multiplicative background risk to a standard portfolio problem and check whether individuals behave in accordance with multiplicative risk vulnerability. We vary the skewness of the background risk in order to study whether individuals behave differently in the presence of a skewed background risk compared to a symmetric one.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Hinck, Sebastian, Richard Peter and Petra Steinorth. 2022. "Risk-Taking with Multiplicative Background Risk: Experimental Evidence." AEA RCT Registry. April 26. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7953-2.0
Experimental Details


Individuals make two risky choices: one without background risk (control treatment) and one with a multiplicative background risk (treatment).
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Investment amounts without and with background risk (within subjects)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Investment amounts with symmetric and skewed background risk (between subjects)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Individuals make two investment choices: one in the presence of a multiplicative background risk (either symmetric or skewed, allocated randomly) and one without a background risk. We compare investment amounts in order to elicit differences in risk taking solely driven by the presence of the multiplicative background risk. In addition, we also compare investment amounts across symmetric and skewed background risks.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Individuals are sampled via hroot. Allocation to treatments (symmetric or skewed background risk) and order of investment tasks (control and background risk) is random at the individual level and implemented in oTree.
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
No clusters, we aim to run six experimental sessions (depending on participation)
Sample size: planned number of observations
324 individuals (based on power analysis using expected investment amounts and variances)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
162 individuals for each treatment (symmetric or skewed background risk)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Intervention Completion Date
August 20, 2021, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Data Collection Completion Date
August 20, 2021, 12:00 +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials