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A Test for Anchoring and Yea-Saying in Experimental Consumption Data

  • van Soest, Arthur
  • Hurd, Michael

In the experimental module of the AHEAD 1995 data, the sample is randomly split into respondents who get an open-ended question on the amount of total family consumption - with follow-up unfolding brackets (of the form: is consumption $X or more?) for those who answer "donÕt know" or "refuse" - and respondents who are immediately directed to unfolding brackets. In both cases, the entry point of the unfolding bracket sequence is randomized. These data are used to develop a nonparametric test for whether people make mistakes in answering the first bracket question, allowing for any type of selection into answering the open-ended question or not. Two well-known types of mistakes are considered: anchoring and yea-saying (or acquiescence). While the literature provides ample evidence that the entry point in the first bracket question serves as an anchor for follow-up bracket questions, it is less clear whether the answers to the first bracket question are already affected by anchoring. We reject the joint hypothesis of no anchoring and no yea-saying at the entry point. Once yea-saying is taken into account, there is no evidence of anchoring.

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Article provided by American Statistical Association in its journal Journal of the American Statistical Association.

Volume (Year): 103 (2008)
Issue (Month): (March)
Pages: 126-136

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Handle: RePEc:bes:jnlasa:v:103:y:2008:m:march:p:126-136
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  1. Herriges, Joseph A. & Shogren, Jason F., 1996. "Starting Point Bias in Dichotomous Choice Valuation with Follow-Up Questioning," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 112-131, January.
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  4. Michael D. Hurd, 1999. "Anchoring and Acquiescence Bias in Measuring Assets in Households Surveys," Working Papers 99-02, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  5. Matthew Rabin., 1997. "Psychology and Economics," Economics Working Papers 97-251, University of California at Berkeley.
  6. Michael D. Hurd & Daniel McFadden & Harish Chand & Li Gan & Angela Menill & Michael Roberts, 1998. "Consumption and Savings Balances of the Elderly: Experimental Evidence on Survey Response Bias," NBER Chapters, in: Frontiers in the Economics of Aging, pages 353-392 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Kevin J. Boyle & Hugh F. MacDonald & Hsiang-tai Cheng & Daniel W. McCollum, 1998. "Bid Design and Yea Saying in Single-Bounded, Dichotomous-Choice Questions," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 74(1), pages 49-64.
  9. Manski, C.F., 1990. "The Selection Problem," Working papers 90-12, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  10. Richard O‘Conor & Magnus Johannesson & Per-Olov Johansson, 1999. "Stated Preferences, Real Behaviour and Anchoring: Some Empirical Evidence," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 13(2), pages 235-248, March.
  11. Charles F. Manski, 1989. "Anatomy of the Selection Problem," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(3), pages 343-360.
  12. Donald Green & Karen Jacowitz & Daniel Kahneman & Daniel McFadden, 1995. "Referendum Contingent Valuation, Anchoring, and Willingness to Pay for Public Goods," Working Papers _010, University of California at Berkeley, Econometrics Laboratory Software Archive.
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  15. repec:att:wimass:9217 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. P. Frykblom & Jason Shogren, 2000. "An Experimental Testing of Anchoring Effects in Discrete Choice Questions," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 16(3), pages 329-341, July.
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