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One Swallow Doesn't Make a Summer: New Evidence on Anchoring Effects

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  • Zacharias Maniadis
  • Fabio Tufano
  • John A. List

Abstract

Some researchers have argued that anchoring in economic valuations casts doubt on the assumption of consistent and stable preferences. We present new evidence that explores the strength of certain anchoring results. We then present a theoretical framework that provides insights into why we should be cautious of initial empirical findings in general. The model importantly highlights that the rate of false positives depends not only on the observed significance level, but also on statistical power, research priors, and the number of scholars exploring the question. Importantly, a few independent replications dramatically increase the chances that the original finding is true.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 104 (2014)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 277-90

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:104:y:2014:i:1:p:277-90

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.104.1.277
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References

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  1. Steven Levitt & John List, 2007. "Viewpoint: On the generalizability of lab behaviour to the field," Artefactual Field Experiments 00001, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2009. "Beyond Revealed Preference: Choice-Theoretic Foundations for Behavioral Welfare Economics-super-," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(1), pages 51-104, February.
  3. Joseph P. Romano & Michael Wolf, 2005. "Stepwise Multiple Testing as Formalized Data Snooping," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(4), pages 1237-1282, 07.
  4. Jonathan E. Alevy & Craig E. Landry & John A. List, 2011. "Field Experiments on Anchoring of Economic Valuations," Working Papers 2011-02, University of Alaska Anchorage, Department of Economics.
  5. Dan Ariely & George Loewenstein & Drazen Prelec, 2003. ""Coherent Arbitrariness": Stable Demand Curves Without Stable Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 73-105, February.
  6. Alan Beggs & Kathryn Graddy, 2009. "Anchoring Effects: Evidence from Art Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 1027-39, June.
  7. repec:feb:artefa:0087 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Drew Fudenberg & David K Levine & Zacharias Maniadis, 2010. "On the Robustness of Anchoring Effects in WTP and WTA Experiments," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000312, David K. Levine.
  9. Fabio Tufano, 2008. "Are ‘True’ Preferences Revealed in Repeated Markets? An Experimental Demonstration of Context-dependent Valuations," Discussion Papers 2008-12, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  10. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  11. Andrew J. Oswald, 2007. "An Examination of the Reliability of Prestigious Scholarly Journals: Evidence and Implications for Decision-Makers," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(293), pages 21-31, 02.
  12. Linda Babcock & George Loewenstein, 1997. "Explaining Bargaining Impasse: The Role of Self-Serving Biases," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 109-126, Winter.
  13. Hunter, John E, 2001. " The Desperate Need for Replications," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 149-58, June.
  14. Uri Simonsohn & George Loewenstein, 2006. "Mistake #37: The Effect of Previously Encountered Prices on Current Housing Demand," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(508), pages 175-199, 01.
  15. Daniel Kahneman & Robert Sugden, 2005. "Experienced Utility as a Standard of Policy Evaluation," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 32(1), pages 161-181, 09.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Omar Al-Ubaydli & John A. List, 2013. "On the Generalizability of Experimental Results in Economics: With A Response To Camerer," NBER Working Papers 19666, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Greg Fischer & Dean Karlan & Margaret McConnell & Pia Raffler, 2014. "To Charge or Not to Charge: Evidence from a Health Products Experiment in Uganda," NBER Working Papers 20170, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Meub, Lukas & Proeger, Till, 2014. "Are groups 'less behavioral'? The case of anchoring," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 188, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  4. Briz, Teresa & Drichoutis, Andreas C. & Nayga, Rodolfo M., 2014. "Detecting false positives in experimental auctions: A case study of projection bias in food consumption," MPRA Paper 57101, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Holger Herz & Dmitry Taubinsky, 2013. "Market experience is a reference point in judgments of fairness," ECON - Working Papers 128, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
  6. Simon Rottke & Alexander Klos, 2013. "Savings and Consumption When Children Move Out," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 621, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  7. Omar Al-Ubaydli & John A. List, 2013. "On the Generalizability of Experimental Results in Economics: With a Response to Commentors," CESifo Working Paper Series 4543, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Mitesh Kataria, 2014. "One Swallow Doesn't Make a Summer: A Comment on Zacharias Maniadis, Fabio Tufano, and John List," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 11(1), pages 4-10, January.
  9. Greg Fischer & Dean Karlan & Margaret McConnell & Pia Raffler, 2014. "To Charge or Not to Charge: Evidence from a Health Products Experiment in Uganda," Working Papers 1041, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  10. Kathryn Graddy & Lara Loewenstein & Jianping Mei & Mike Moses & Rachel Pownall, 2014. "Anchoring or Loss Aversion? Empirical Evidence from Art Auctions," Working Papers 73, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.

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