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Projection Bias in Catalog Orders

Author

Listed:
  • Michael Conlin
  • Ted O'Donoghue
  • Timothy J. Vogelsang

Abstract

Evidence suggests that people understand qualitatively how tastes change over time, but underestimate the magnitudes. This evidence is limited, however, to laboratory evidence or surveys of reported happiness. We test for such projection bias in field data. Using data on catalog orders of cold-weather items, we find evidence of projection bias over the weather—specifically, people's decisions are overinfluenced by the current weather. Our estimates suggest that if the order-date temperature declines by 30°F, the return probability increases by 3.95 percent. We also estimate a structural model to measure the magnitude of the bias. (JEL D12, L81)

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Conlin & Ted O'Donoghue & Timothy J. Vogelsang, 2007. "Projection Bias in Catalog Orders," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1217-1249, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:97:y:2007:i:4:p:1217-1249
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.97.4.1217
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce

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