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Holding on for too long? An experimental study on inertia in entrepreneurs’ and non-entrepreneurs’ disinvestment choices

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  • Sandri, Serena
  • Schade, Christian
  • Musshoff, Oliver
  • Odening, Martin

Abstract

Disinvestment, in the sense of project termination and liquidation of assets including the cession of a venture, is an important realm of entrepreneurial decision-making. This study presents the results of an experimental investigation modeling the choice to disinvest as a dynamic problem of optimal stopping in which the patterns of decisions are analyzed with entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs. Our experimental results reject the standard net present value approach as an account of observed behavior. Instead, most individuals seem to understand the value of waiting. Their choices are weakly related to the disinvestment triggers derived from a formal optimal stopping benchmark consistent with real options reasoning. We also observe a pronounced ‘psychological inertia’, i.e., most individuals hold on to a losing project for even longer than real options reasoning would predict. The study provides evidence for entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs being quite similar in their behavior.

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Paper provided by Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics in its series Structural Change in Agriculture/Strukturwandel im Agrarsektor (SiAg) Working Papers with number 59518.

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Date of creation: Jan 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ags:huscpw:59518

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Keywords: Real-Options; Disinvestment; Exit Behavior; Experimental Economics; Agribusiness; Agricultural and Food Policy; Agricultural Finance; Institutional and Behavioral Economics;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Holm, Håkan J. & Opper, Sonja & Nee, Victor, 2013. "Entrepeneurs under Uncertainty: an Economic Experiment in China," Knut Wicksell Working Paper Series 2013/1, Knut Wicksell Centre for Financial Studies, Lund University.
  2. Appel, Franziska & Musshoff, Oliver, 2011. "How appropriate are myopic optimization models to predict decision behaviour: A comparison between agent-based models and business management games," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 115994, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  3. Holm, Håkan J. & Opper, Sonja & Nee, Victor, 2012. "Entrepreneurs under Uncertainty: An Economic Experiment," Working Papers 2012:4, Lund University, Department of Economics.
  4. Cooper, David J. & Saral, Krista Jabs, 2010. "Entrepreneurship and Team Participation: An Experimental Study," MPRA Paper 25144, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Artinger, Sabrina & Schade, Christian, 2013. "Girls will be Girls: An Experimental Study on Female Entrepreneurship," Structural Change in Agriculture/Strukturwandel im Agrarsektor (SiAg) Working Papers 146511, Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics.
  6. Schade, Christian & Snir, Avichai, 2012. "When the stress of quitting meets the cost of playing: An Experiment on to quit or not to quit?," Structural Change in Agriculture/Strukturwandel im Agrarsektor (SiAg) Working Papers 134426, Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics.
  7. Huettel, Silke & Narayana, Rashmi & Odening, Martin, 2011. "Measuring dynamic efficiency under uncertainty," Structural Change in Agriculture/Strukturwandel im Agrarsektor (SiAg) Working Papers 129062, Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics.
  8. Tubetov, Dulat & Musshoff, Oliver & Kellner, Ulla, 0. "Investments in Kazakhstani Dairy Farming: A Comparison of Classical Investment Theory and the Real Options Approach," Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, vol. 51.
  9. Maart, Syster Christin & Musshoff, Oliver & Odening, Martin & Schade, Christian, 2010. "Zum Desinvestitionsverhalten Landwirtschaftlicher Unternehmer: Ergebnisse Einer Experimentellen Untersuchung," 50st Annual Conference, Braunschweig, Germany, September 29-October 1, 2010 93943, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
  10. Margarian, Anne, 2009. "The regional specifity of structural change in agriculture: An assessment of the role of farmers’ strategic behaviour on the land market," Structural Change in Agriculture/Strukturwandel im Agrarsektor (SiAg) Working Papers 59522, Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics.
  11. Mußhoff, Oliver & Hirschauer, Norbert & Hengel, Philipp, 2011. "Sind Unternehmensplanspiele ein geeignetes Instrument zur Analyse begrenzter Rationalität und tatsächlichen Entscheidungsverhaltens?," Journal of International Agricultural Trade and Development, Journal of International Agricultural Trade and Development, vol. 60(3).
  12. Burmeister-Lamp, Katrin & Lévesque, Moren & Schade, Christian, 2012. "Are entrepreneurs influenced by risk attitude, regulatory focus or both? An experiment on entrepreneurs' time allocation," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 456-476.
  13. Iván Arribas & Penélope Hernández & Amparo Urbano Salvador & Jose E. Vila, 2012. "Are social and entrepreneurial attitudes compatible? A behavioral and self-perceptional analysis," Discussion Papers in Economic Behaviour 0512, University of Valencia, ERI-CES.
  14. Ihli, Hanna Julia & Maart, Syster Christin & Musshoff, Oliver, 2012. "Investment and Disinvestment in Irrigation Technology – An Experimental Analysis of Farmers’ Decision Behavior –," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124532, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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