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Monkeys know how to invest, too

Published: Saturday, Aug. 1 2015 6:13 a.m. MDT

Japanese macaques sit in a warm sunshine at a zoo of the Everland amusement park in Yongin, south of Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013.  (Lee Jin-man, Associated Press) Japanese macaques sit in a warm sunshine at a zoo of the Everland amusement park in Yongin, south of Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. (Lee Jin-man, Associated Press)

When monkeys fall into a little wealth they become slightly more human, at least in their decision making.

According to a report by Quartz’s Simone Foxman, the wealthier monkeys become (they used water as a currency during the testing, since monkeys aren't terribly interested in bank notes), the more willing they are to take financial risks, so to speak.

“This pretty much approximates the kind of rational human behavior economists assume when they construct economic models,” Foxman writes. “Poor people tend to invest their money in assets where they know they won’t lose it ... Richer humans are more comfortable taking risks where they can lose money so long as the reward is sufficiently large.”

Fomxman’s article, which ran on Quartz’s website this morning, is based on research published this month in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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