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A Study of Consumer Behavior Using Laboratory Data

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Author Info

  • Philippe Fevrier

    (CREST - LEI)

  • Michael Visser

    (CREST-LEI)

Abstract

This paper reports the results of an experiment on individual consumer behavior. The experiment was designed to address the following questions. Do participants behave as utility-maximizing agents? Are there variables (socio-economic characteristics, experimental conditions) that have an effect on the probability of being non-rational? And finally, to what extent does the presence of non-rational individuals affect the estimation results of demand equations? Revealed preference tests indicate that 29% of the individuals do not behave as utility-maximizing agents. Gender and the times spent on performing experimental tasks have a significant effect on the likelihood of being non-rational, but the level of remuneration does not. The estimation results of some commonly used demand systems and tests of the Slutsky restrictions are affected by the presence of non-rational individuals in the experimental sample.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers with number 1095.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2000
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Handle: RePEc:ecm:wc2000:1095

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Cox, James C, 1997. "On Testing the Utility Hypothesis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1054-78, July.
  3. Philippe Février & Michael Visser, 2004. "A Study of Consumer Behavior Using Laboratory Data," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 93-114, February.
  4. Varian, Hal R, 1982. "The Nonparametric Approach to Demand Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 945-73, July.
  5. Varian, Hal R., 1988. "Revealed preference with a subset of goods," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 179-185, October.
  6. 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.
  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. Varian, Hal R, 1983. "Non-Parametric Tests of Consumer Behaviour," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 99-110, January.
  9. 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.
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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. Philippe Février & Michael Visser, 2000. "AStudyof Consumer Behavior Using Laboratory Data," Working Papers 2000-12, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  3. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00376747 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. 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).
  5. repec:hal:cesptp:halshs-00376747 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. 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.
  7. James Andreoni & William Harbaugh, 2005. "Power Indicies for Revealed Preference Tests," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000181, UCLA Department of Economics.
  8. repec:hal:cesptp:halshs-00084390 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Pires Gonçalves, Ricardo, 2008. "Consumer Behavior: Product Characteristics and Quality Perception," MPRA Paper 11142, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. James C. Cox, 2009. "Some Issues of Methods, Theories, and Experimental Designs," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2009-02, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  11. 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.
  12. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00449463 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. 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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