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A Theory Of Reference-Dependent Beavior

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Abstract

There is extensive field and experimental evidence in a wide variety of environments showing that behavior depends on a reference point. This paper provides an axiomatic characterization for such behavior. Our approach is dual, we study choice behavior and preference relations. We proceed by gradually imposing more structure on behavior, requiring higher levels of rationality, that free the decision-maker from certain types of manipulations. Depending on the phenomena one wants to model, one degree of behavioral structure will be appropriate or another. We provide two applications of the theory: one to model the status-quo bias, and another to model addictive behavior.

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File URL: ftp://ftp.econ.unavarra.es/pub/DocumentosTrab/DT0402.PDF
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra in its series Documentos de Trabajo - Lan Gaiak Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra with number 0402.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in
Handle: RePEc:nav:ecupna:'0402'

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Related research

Keywords: Individual rationality; reference-dependence; rationalization; path-independence; menu-independence; status-quo bias; addiction; habit formation.;

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References

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  1. Masatlioglu, Yusufcan & Ok, Efe A., 2005. "Rational choice with status quo bias," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 1-29, March.
  2. Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. " Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
  3. 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.
  4. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  5. Sagi, Jacob S., 2006. "Anchored preference relations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 130(1), pages 283-295, September.
  6. Pollak, Robert A, 1970. "Habit Formation and Dynamic Demand Functions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(4), pages 745-63, Part I Ju.
  7. BOSSERT, Walter & SPRUMONT, Yves, 2001. "Non-Deteriorating Choice," Cahiers de recherche 2001-01, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  8. Botond Koszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2004. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," Method and Hist of Econ Thought 0407001, EconWPA.
  9. Matthew Rabin, 1998. "Psychology and Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 11-46, March.
  10. Raphaël Giraud, 2012. "Money matters: an axiomatic theory of the endowment effect," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 50(2), pages 303-339, June.
  11. Bateman, Ian J, et al, 1997. "A Test of the Theory of Reference-Dependent Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 479-505, May.
  12. Raphaël Giraud, 2004. "Reference-dependent preferences : rationality, mechanism and welfare implications," Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques v04087, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
  13. Sugden, Robert, 2003. "Reference-dependent subjective expected utility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 172-191, August.
  14. Mandler, Michael, 2005. "Incomplete preferences and rational intransitivity of choice," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 255-277, February.
  15. Steffen Huck & Georg Kirchsteiger & Jörg Oechssler, 2005. "Learning to like what you have - explaining the endowment effect," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(505), pages 689-702, 07.
  16. Tversky, Amos & Slovic, Paul & Kahneman, Daniel, 1990. "The Causes of Preference Reversal," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 204-17, March.
  17. Knetsch, Jack L & Sinden, J A, 1984. "Willingness to Pay and Compensation Demanded: Experimental Evidence of an Unexpected Disparity in Measures of Value," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 99(3), pages 507-21, August.
  18. A. Rubinstein & L. Zhou, 1998. "Choice Problems with a "Reference" Point," Princeton Economic Theory Papers 00s3, Economics Department, Princeton University.
  19. 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.
  20. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1986. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 41, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  21. Munro, Alistair & Sugden, Robert, 2003. "On the theory of reference-dependent preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 407-428, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Özgür Evren, 2012. "Scalarization Methods and Expected Multi-Utility Representations," Working Papers w0174, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  2. Raphaël Giraud, 2010. "On the interpretation of the WTP/WTA gap as imprecise utility: an axiomatic analysis," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(1), pages 692-701.
  3. Ghossoub, Mario, 2011. "Towards a Purely Behavioral Definition of Loss Aversion," MPRA Paper 37628, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 23 Mar 2012.
  4. Anderson, Torben M. & Bhattacharya, Joydeep, 2008. "On Myopia As Rationale for Social Security," Staff General Research Papers 12985, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  5. Bruttel, Lisa & Friehe, Tim, 2014. "On the path dependence of tax compliance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 90-107.
  6. Daniel Krähmer & Rebecca Stone, 2013. "Anticipated regret as an explanation of uncertainty aversion," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 52(2), pages 709-728, March.
  7. Daniele Pennesi, 2013. "Endogenous Status Quo," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 314, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  8. Jose Apesteguia & Miguel Angel Ballester, 2012. "Choice By Sequential Procedures," Working Papers 615, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  9. Amadeo Piolatto & Matthew Rablen, 2013. "Prospect theory and tax evasion: a reconsideration of the Yitzhaki Puzzle," IFS Working Papers W13/25, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  10. Raphaël Giraud, 2012. "Money matters: an axiomatic theory of the endowment effect," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 50(2), pages 303-339, June.
  11. Evren, Özgür & Ok, Efe A., 2011. "On the multi-utility representation of preference relations," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(4-5), pages 554-563.
  12. Douadia Bougherara & Xavier Gassmann & Laurent Piet, 2011. "A structural estimation of French farmers’ risk preferences: an artefactual field experiment," Working Papers SMART - LERECO 11-06, INRA UMR SMART.
  13. Papi, Mauro, 2012. "Satisficing choice procedures," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 451-462.

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