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Truck, barter and exchange versus the endowment effect: virtual field experiments in an online game environment

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  • Munro, Alistair
  • Ferreira De Sousa, Yannick

Abstract

We examine the feasibility of using a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) to test economic theories. As a test vehicle we use the well-known hypothesis about the relationship between market experience and the endowment effect. Our results confirm earlier field experiments that individuals with more trading experience are less likely to exhibit status quo behaviour in trade. However, we also find evidence that highly experienced individuals are more likely to swap the item rather than keep it – i.e. there appears to be a propensity to ‘truck, barter and exchange’. A further experiments suggests that this feature is robust and is unlikely to be due to subject misperception or experimenter demand effects. We conclude that virtual economies may be a useful venue for field experiments.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 8977.

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Date of creation: 20 Jan 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:8977

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Keywords: Endowment effect; virtual field experiment; Runescape; MMORPG;

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  21. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
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Cited by:
  1. John List, 2011. "Does market experience eliminate market anomalies? The case of exogenous market experience," Framed Field Experiments, The Field Experiments Website 00178, The Field Experiments Website.

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