The effect of default options on financial risk‐taking for oneself versus others
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- Master Thesis 
This thesis is a study of the effect of default options on financial risk‐taking for oneself versus others. The purpose of the thesis is to see if there is a significant difference in risk‐taking for oneself versus for others both when the default is the safe option as well as when the default is the risky option, making it a 2x2 design with four treatment groups. The thesis builds on research on individual risk‐taking and on research on default effects. The study was performed as an incentivized survey posted on the topline web‐bus of NORSTAT. One thousand respondents were given one of 4 questions giving a total of 250 respondents per treatment. All participants were selected randomly from a large pool of respondents and all respondents were randomly assigned to one of the four questions. Previous research has shown a significant bias towards the default in risk‐taking for oneself. The default effect has, as far as I know, not been tested on risky decisions for others. My study shows that there is a default bias also for risky decisions for others although slightly less distinct than in the first case. The results of my study indicate that there is a significant default effect both when choosing for oneself and others. This indicates the importance of framing when posting questions and an opportunity for creating biases that must be handled with caution.