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Being in the Right Place: A Natural Field Experiment on List Position and Consumer Choice

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Author Info

  • Novarese, Marco
  • Wilson, Chris M.

Abstract

By randomising the order in which new economics research papers are presented in email alerts and tracking economists’ subsequent download activity, this paper uses a natural field experiment to better understand the reasons why individuals show a disproportionate tendency to select items listed in top position. Using a novel method, the paper tests and rejects three common explanations regarding item order, choice fatigue and position as a quality signal. The paper then further demonstrates how the causes of top position effects vary significantly with list length, and points to some alternative explanations.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/48074/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 48074.

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Date of creation: Jun 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:48074

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Related research

Keywords: Position Effects; Order Effects; Primacy Effects; Recency Effects; Choice Fatigue; Prominence;

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References

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  1. COUPE, Tom & GINSBURGH, Victor & NOURY, Abdul, . "Are leading papers of better quality? Evidence from a natural experiment," CORE Discussion Papers RP -2221, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Anindya Ghose & Sha Yang, 2009. "An Empirical Analysis of Search Engine Advertising: Sponsored Search in Electronic Markets," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(10), pages 1605-1622, October.
  3. Elena Reutskaja & Rosemarie Nagel & Colin F. Camerer & Antonio Rangel, 2011. "Search Dynamics in Consumer Choice under Time Pressure: An Eye-Tracking Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 900-926, April.
  4. GINSBURGH, Victor & van OURS, Jan, 2002. "Expert opinion and compensation: evidence from a musical competition," CORE Discussion Papers 2002033, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  5. Michael R. Baye & Babur De los Santos & Matthijs R. Wildenbeest, 2012. "What's in a Name? Measuring Prominence, and its Impact on Organic Traffic from Search Engines," Working Papers 2012-09, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  6. Michael R. Baye & J. Rupert J. Gatti & Paul Kattuman & John Morgan, 2006. "Clicks, Discontinuities, and Firm Demand Online," Working Papers 2006-21, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  7. Michael D. Smith & Erik Brynjolfsson, 2001. "Consumer Decision-making at an Internet Shopbot: Brand Still Matters," NBER Chapters, in: E-commerce, pages 541-558 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Yuval Salant, 2011. "Procedural Analysis of Choice Rules with Applications to Bounded Rationality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 724-48, April.
  9. Mark Armstrong & John Vickers & Jidong Zhou, 2009. "Prominence and consumer search," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(2), pages 209-233.
  10. Haan, Marco & Dijkstra, Gerhard & Dijkstra, Peter, 2003. "Expert judgment versus public opinion - evidence from the Eurovision Song Contest," Research Report 03F12, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
  11. Anindya Ghose & Sha Yang, 2007. "An Empirical Analysis of Search Engine Advertising: Sponsored Search and Cross-Selling in Electronic Markets," Working Papers 07-35, NET Institute, revised Sep 2007.
  12. Jonathan Levav & Mark Heitmann & Andreas Herrmann & Sheena S. Iyengar, 2010. "Order in Product Customization Decisions: Evidence from Field Experiments," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(2), pages 274-299, 04.
  13. Batiz-Lazo, Bernardo & Krichel, Thomas, 2010. "The creation of internet communities: A brief history of on-line distribution of working papers through NEP, 1998-2010," MPRA Paper 27085, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Amy King & Andrew Leigh, 2009. "Are Ballot Order Effects Heterogeneous?," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 90(1), pages 71-87.
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Cited by:
  1. Michael R. Baye & Babur De los Santos & Matthijs R. Wildenbeest, 2012. "What's in a Name? Measuring Prominence, and its Impact on Organic Traffic from Search Engines," Working Papers 2012-09, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.

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