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Detection, Identification, and Estimation of Loss Aversion: Evidence from an Auction Experiment

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  • A. Banerji
  • Neha Gupta

Abstract

We provide a novel experimental auction design, in which (i) an exogenous decrease in the probability of winning, conditional on the bid, reduces the optimal bid of a loss averse agent whose reference point is expectations based; (ii) observed bid distributions uniquely identify the participants' latent value distribution and loss-aversion parameter. Experimental evidence affirms the presence of such reference points. We show that at the estimated magnitudes of loss aversion, (a) conventional Becker, DeGroot, and Marschak (1964) experiments may lead to large biases in estimated willingness to pay (which our design can correct for); and (b) first-price auctions may fetch moderately higher revenue, compared with second-price auctions.

Suggested Citation

  • A. Banerji & Neha Gupta, 2014. "Detection, Identification, and Estimation of Loss Aversion: Evidence from an Auction Experiment," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 91-133, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmic:v:6:y:2014:i:1:p:91-133
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mic.6.1.91
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ahrens, Steffen & Pirschel, Inske & Snower, Dennis J., 2017. "A theory of price adjustment under loss aversion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 78-95.
    2. Kathryn Graddy & Lara Loewenstein & Jianping Mei & Mike Moses & Rachel A J Pownall, 2014. "Anchoring or Loss Aversion? Empirical Evidence from Art Auctions," ACEI Working Paper Series AWP-04-2014, Association for Cultural Economics International, revised Jun 2014.
    3. Andreas C. Drichoutis & Stathis Klonaris & Georgia Papoutsi, 2016. "Do good things come in small packages? Willingness to pay for pomegranate wine and bottle size effects," Working Papers 2016-2, Agricultural University of Athens, Department Of Agricultural Economics.
    4. Kathryn Graddy & Lara Loewenstein & Jianping Mei & Mike Moses & Rachel Pownall, 2014. "Empirical Evidence of Anchoring and Loss Aversion from Art Auctions," Working Papers 73, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School, revised Apr 2015.
    5. A Banerji and Jeevant Rampal, 2015. "Loss Aversion And Willingness To Pay For New Products," Working papers 249, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
    6. Achilleas Vassilopoulos & Andreas C. Drichoutis & Rodolfo M. Nayga, Jr, 2018. "Loss Aversion, Expectations and Anchoring in the BDM Mechanism," Working Papers 2018-1, Agricultural University of Athens, Department Of Agricultural Economics.
    7. Paul Pezanis-Christou & Hang Wu, 2017. "A Naïve Approach to Bidding," School of Economics Working Papers 2017-03, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
    8. Bazzani, Claudia & Nayga, Rodolfo M. Jr. & Caputo, Vincenzina & Canavari, Maurizio & Danforth, Diana M., 2016. "On the Use of the BDM Mechanism in Non-Hypothetical Choice Experiments," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 235904, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    9. Rosato, Antonio, 2014. "Loss Aversion in Sequential Auctions: Endogenous Interdependence, Informational Externalities and the "Afternoon Effect"," MPRA Paper 56824, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. repec:eee:jeborg:v:145:y:2018:i:c:p:176-201 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Glimcher, Paul W. & Tymula, Agnieszka A., 2016. "Expected Subjective Value Theory (ESVT): A Representation of Decision Under Risk and Certainty," Working Papers 2016-08, University of Sydney, School of Economics, revised Jan 2017.
    12. repec:eee:jeborg:v:147:y:2018:i:c:p:129-144 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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