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What Can I Get For It? The Relationship Between the Choice Equivalent, Willingness to Accept and Willingness to Pay

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  • Lunn,Pete
  • Lunn, Mary

Abstract

We hypothesise and confirm a novel empirical result concerning the willingness to accept (WTA)-willingness to pay (WTP) disparity. Employing data from what has become the classic experimental design, we reveal systematic variation in the relative magnitudes of three valuations: WTA, WTP and choice equivalent (CE). Individuals with low CE relative to others set a proportionally higher WTA, while those with high CE set a proportionally lower WTP. The effect size is substantial in relation to the WTA-WTP disparity itself. These results are predicted by a model in which subjects behave as if maximising surplus over a sequence of exchange encounters, as typifies real exchanges outside the laboratory. They are at odds with models based on loss aversion, which either predict constant relativities between the three valuations or the opposite of the pattern observed.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in its series Papers with number WP479.

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Date of creation: Feb 2014
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Handle: RePEc:esr:wpaper:wp479

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Keywords: Endowment effect; willingness to pay; willingness to accept; loss aversion;

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References

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  1. Koszegi, Botond & Rabin, Matthew, 2004. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt0w82b6nm, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  2. Shogren, Jason F. & Shin, Seung Youll & Hayes, Dermot J. & Kliebenstein, James, 1994. "Resolving Differences in Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Accept," Staff General Research Papers 701, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  3. John List, 2003. "Does market experience eliminate market anomalies?," Natural Field Experiments 00297, The Field Experiments Website.
  4. Keith M. Marzilli Ericson & Andreas Fuster, 2013. "The Endowment Effect," NBER Working Papers 19384, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Dirk Engelmann & Guillaume Hollard, 2010. "Reconsidering the Effect of Market Experience on the “Endowment Effect”," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(6), pages 2005-2019, November.
  6. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  7. Catherine L. Kling & John A. List & Jinhua Zhao, 2010. "A Dynamic Explanation of the Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Accept Disparity," NBER Working Papers 16483, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Brown, Thomas C., 2005. "Loss aversion without the endowment effect, and other explanations for the WTA-WTP disparity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 367-379, July.
  9. John A. List, 2006. "Using Hicksian Surplus Measures to Examine Consistency of Individual Preferences: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(1), pages 115-134, 03.
  10. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1991. "Loss Aversion in Riskless Choice: A Reference-Dependent Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1039-61, November.
  11. Franciosi, Robert & Kujal, Praveen & Michelitsch, Roland & Smith, Vernon & Deng, Gang, 1996. "Experimental tests of the endowment effect," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 213-226, August.
  12. Knetsch, Jack L, 1989. "The Endowment Effect and Evidence of Nonreversible Indifference Curves," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1277-84, December.
  13. Graham Loomes & Shepley Orr & Robert Sugden, 2009. "Taste uncertainty and status quo effects in consumer choice," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 113-135, October.
  14. Charles R. Plott & Kathryn Zeiler, 2005. "The Willingness to Pay–Willingness to Accept Gap, the "Endowment Effect," Subject Misconceptions, and Experimental Procedures for Eliciting Valuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 530-545, June.
  15. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1325-48, December.
  16. Charles R. Plott & Kathryn Zeiler, 2011. "The Willingness to Pay--Willingness to Accept Gap, the "Endowment Effect," Subject Misconceptions, and Experimental Procedures for Eliciting Valuations: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 1012-28, April.
  17. Bateman, Ian & Kahneman, Daniel & Munro, Alistair & Starmer, Chris & Sugden, Robert, 2005. "Testing competing models of loss aversion: an adversarial collaboration," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(8), pages 1561-1580, August.
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