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Does consistency predict accuracy of beliefs?: Economists surveyed about PSA

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  • Berg, Nathan
  • Biele, Guido
  • Gigerenzer, Gerd

Abstract

Subjective beliefs and behavior regarding the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test for prostate cancer were surveyed among attendees of the 2006 meeting of the American Economic Association. Logical inconsistency was measured in percentage deviations from a restriction imposed by Bayes’ Rule on pairs of conditional beliefs. Economists with inconsistent beliefs tended to be more accurate than average, and consistent Bayesians were substantially less accurate. Within a loss function framework, we look for and cannot find evidence that inconsistent beliefs cause economic losses. Subjective beliefs about cancer risks do not predict PSA testing decisions, but social influences do.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 26590.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:26590

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Keywords: logical consistency; predictive accuracy; elicitation; non-Bayesian; ecological rationality;

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Cited by:
  1. Martin Binder & Leonhard K. Lades, 2013. "Autonomy-enhancing paternalism," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2013-04, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group.
  2. Berg, Nathan, 2010. "Success from Satisficing and Imitation: Entrepreneurs’ Location Choice and Implications of Heuristics for Local Economic Development," MPRA Paper 26594, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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