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Loss Aversion and Consumption Choice: Theory and Experimental Evidence

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  • Karle, Heiko
  • Kirchsteiger, Georg
  • Peitz, Martin

Abstract

In this paper we analyze a consumer choice model with price uncertainty, loss aversion, and expectation-based reference points. The implications of this model are tested in an experiment in which participants have to make a consumption choice between two sandwiches. We make use of the fact that participants diff er in their reported taste difference between the two sandwiches and the degree of loss aversion which we measure separately. We find that more loss-averse participants are more likely to opt for the cheaper sandwich provided that their reported taste difference is below some threshold, confirming the model’s predictions.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9183.

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Date of creation: Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9183

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Keywords: Contextual Reference Points; Loss Aversion; Reference-Dependent Utility;

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References

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  1. Rabin, Matthew, 2000. "Risk Aversion and Expected-Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt731230f8, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  2. Jidong Zhou, 2011. "Reference Dependence and Market Competition," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(4), pages 1073-1097, December.
  3. Karle, Heiko & Peitz, Martin, 2012. "Competition under Consumer Loss Aversion," Working Papers 12-08, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
  4. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. " Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
  5. Thierry Post & Martijn J. van den Assem & Guido Baltussen & Richard H. Thaler, 2008. "Deal or No Deal? Decision Making under Risk in a Large-Payoff Game Show," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 38-71, March.
  6. Heiko Karle, 2013. "Creating Attachment through Advertising: Loss Aversion and Pre–Purchase Information," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 13/177, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
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Cited by:
  1. Herweg, Fabian & Karle, Heiko & Müller, Daniel, 2014. "Incomplete Contracting, Renegotiation, and Expectation-Based Loss Aversion," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 454, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  2. Rosato, Antonio, 2013. "Selling Substitute Goods to Loss-Averse Consumers: Limited Availability, Bargains and Rip-offs," MPRA Paper 47168, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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