Group Decision and Negotiation

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 133–149 | Cite as

Collective Choices Under Ambiguity

  • M. Vittoria Levati
  • Stefan NapelEmail author
  • Ivan Soraperra


We investigate experimentally whether collective choice environments matter for individual attitudes to ambiguity. In a simple two-urn Ellsberg experiment, one urn offers a 45 % chance of winning a fixed monetary prize while the other offers an ambiguous chance. Participants choose either individually or in groups of three. Group decision rules vary in the level of individual responsibility for the others’ payoffs: the collective choice is taken by majority, randomly delegated to two group members, or randomly delegated to a single group member. Although most participants display consistent ambiguity attitudes across their decisions, taking responsibility for the others tends to foster ambiguity aversion.


Ambiguity aversion Majority voting Random delegation Experiment 



We thank the editor and two anonymous referees for careful review and valuable comments. We are very grateful to Werner Güth for useful discussion and suggestions. We also benefited from the comments of participants at the 2013 Florence Workshop on Behavioral and Experimental Economics. Albrecht Noll and Claudia Zellmann provided valuable assistance in conducting the experiment. The authors bear full responsibility for any errors and omissions.

Funding This study was funded by the Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena (Germany).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. They further confirm that they read and approved the manuscript and that there are no other persons who satisfied the criteria for authorship but are not listed.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Vittoria Levati
    • 1
  • Stefan Napel
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ivan Soraperra
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of VeronaVeronaItaly
  2. 2.University of BayreuthBayreuthGermany

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