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A Study of Consumer Behavior Using Laboratory Data

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  • Philippe Février

    ()

  • Michael Visser

    ()

Abstract

This paper reports the results of an experiment in which subjects had to buy real products in 5 different budget/price situations. Subjects were randomly drawn from the population of a medium-sized French city, and some of their socio-economic characteristics were recorded. We check the consistency of product choices with the Generalized Axiom of Revealed Preferences (GARP), and find that 29% of the subjects are GARP-inconsistent. This inconsistency rate is slightly lower than the ones found in comparable studies. A possible explanation for our lower rate of GARP violations might be that the subjects in our study were confronted with less budget/price situations. In looking for determinants of the GARP violations, we find that gender, the size of the household, the degree of switching between different products, and the times spent on performing experimental tasks have significant impacts on the probability of GARP-inconsistency. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Experimental Economics.

Volume (Year): 7 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 93-114

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Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:7:y:2004:i:1:p:93-114

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102888

Related research

Keywords: consumer behavior; experimental economics; GARP tests;

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References

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  1. Varian, Hal R, 1982. "The Nonparametric Approach to Demand Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 945-73, July.
  2. Sippel, Reinhard, 1997. "An Experiment on the Pure Theory of Consumer's Behaviour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(444), pages 1431-44, September.
  3. Reinhard Sippel, 1996. "A Note on the Power of Revealed Preference Tests with Afriat Inefficiency," Discussion Paper Serie A 303 DP No. A--528, University of Bonn, Germany.
  4. Philippe Février & Michael Visser, 2004. "A Study of Consumer Behavior Using Laboratory Data," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 93-114, February.
  5. Varian, Hal R, 1983. "Non-Parametric Tests of Consumer Behaviour," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 99-110, January.
  6. Cox, James C, 1997. "On Testing the Utility Hypothesis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1054-78, July.
  7. Blundell, Richard & Pashardes, Panos & Weber, Guglielmo, 1993. "What Do We Learn About Consumer Demand Patterns from Micro Data?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 570-97, June.
  8. Battalio, Raymond C & Dwyer, Gerald P, Jr & Kagel, John H, 1987. "Tests of Competing Theories of Consumer Choice and the Representative Consumer Hypothesis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(388), pages 842-56, December.
  9. Varian, Hal R., 1988. "Revealed preference with a subset of goods," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 179-185, October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ivan Moscati & Paola Tubaro, 2009. "Random behavior and the as-if defense of rational choice theory in demand experiments," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 27001, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Marc-Arthur DIAYE & François GARDES & Christophe STARZEC, 2008. "GARP violation, Economic Environment Distortions and Shadow Prices: Evidence from Household Expenditure Panel Data," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 90, pages 3-33.
  3. Philippe Fevrier & Michael Visser, 2000. "A Study of Consumer Behavior Using Laboratory Data," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1095, Econometric Society.
  4. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00449463 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Douglas D. Davis & Edward L. Millner, 2005. "Rebates, Matches, and Consumer Behavior," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 410–421, October.
  6. Pires Gonçalves, Ricardo, 2008. "Consumer Behavior: Product Characteristics and Quality Perception," MPRA Paper 11142, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Cox, James C., 2010. "Some issues of methods, theories, and experimental designs," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 24-28, January.
  8. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00376747 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Andreoni,J. & Harbaugh,W.T., 2005. "Power indices for revealed preference tests," Working papers 10, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  10. Manzini, Paola & Mariotti, Marco, 2006. "Two-Stage Boundedly Rational Choice Procedures: Theory and Experimental Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 2341, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Marc-Arthur Diaye & Michal Wong-Urdanivia, 2005. "A simple test of Richter-rationality," Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques b06008, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).

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