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The Willingness to Pay—Willingness to Accept Gap, the "Endowment Effect," Subject Misconceptions, and Experimental Procedures for Eliciting Valuations: Comment

Listed author(s):
  • Andrea Isoni
  • Graham Loomes
  • Robert Sugden

Plott and Zeiler (2005) report that the willingness-to-pay/willingness-to-accept disparity is absent for mugs in a particular experimental setting, designed to neutralize misconceptions about the procedures used to elicit valuations. This result has received sustained attention in the literature. However, other data from that same study, not published in that paper, exhibit a significant and persistent disparity when the same experimental procedures are applied to lotteries. We report new data confirming both results, thereby suggesting that the presence or absence of a disparity may be a more complex issue than some may have supposed. (JEL C91, D12, D81, D83)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.101.2.991
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 101 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 991-1011

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:2:p:991-1011
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  1. Clark, Jeremy & Friesen, Lana, 2008. "The causes of order effects in contingent valuation surveys: An experimental investigation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 195-206, September.
  2. Shogren, Jason F. & Seung Y. Shin & Dermot J. Hayes & James B. Kliebenstein, 1994. "Resolving Differences in Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Accept," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 255-270, March.
  3. Matthew Rabin, 2000. "Risk Aversion and Expected-Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1281-1292, September.
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  5. 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.
  6. Lange, Andreas & Ratan, Anmol, 2010. "Multi-dimensional reference-dependent preferences in sealed-bid auctions - How (most) laboratory experiments differ from the field," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 634-645, March.
  7. 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.
  8. Sugden, Robert, 2003. "Reference-dependent subjective expected utility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 172-191, August.
  9. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
  10. Flachaire, Emmanuel & Hollard, Guillaume, 2008. "Individual sensitivity to framing effects," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 296-307, July.
  11. Hanemann, W Michael, 1991. "Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Accept: How Much Can They Differ?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 635-647, June.
  12. Charles R. Plott & Kathryn Zeiler, 2007. "Exchange Asymmetries Incorrectly Interpreted as Evidence of Endowment Effect Theory and Prospect Theory?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1449-1466, September.
  13. Kovalchik, Stephanie & Camerer, Colin F. & Grether, David M. & Plott, Charles R. & Allman, John M., 2005. "Aging and decision making: a comparison between neurologically healthy elderly and young individuals," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 79-94, September.
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  15. Corrigan, Jay R. & Rousu, Matthew C., 2008. "Testing Whether Field Auction Experiments Are Demand Revealing in Practice," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 33(2), August.
  16. Michael Mandler, 2004. "Status quo maintenance reconsidered: changing or incomplete preferences?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(499), pages 518-535, November.
  17. repec:feb:framed:0078 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Knetsch, Jack L, 1989. "The Endowment Effect and Evidence of Nonreversible Indifference Curves," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1277-1284, December.
  19. Tsur, Matan, 2008. "The selectivity effect of past experience on purchasing decisions: Implications for the WTA-WTP disparity," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 739-746, November.
  20. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1991. "Loss Aversion in Riskless Choice: A Reference-Dependent Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1039-1061.
  21. Knetsch, Jack L. & Wong, Wei-Kang, 2009. "The endowment effect and the reference state: Evidence and manipulations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 407-413, August.
  22. Kolstad, Charles D. & Guzman, Rolando M., 1999. "Information and the Divergence between Willingness to Accept and Willingness to Pay," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 66-80, July.
  23. 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.
  24. Willig, Robert D, 1976. "Consumer's Surplus without Apology," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(4), pages 589-597, September.
  25. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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