IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Decision Time, Consideration Time, And Status Quo Bias


  • Sen Geng


type="main" xml:id="ecin12239-abs-0001"> Economists increasingly appreciate the value of studying the time taken to make decisions in order to provide insights into decision makers' choices. This article shows that studying how time is allocated among individual options is also valuable in helping researchers to understand the impact default options have on decision makers' attention allocation, as approximated by how the time is allocated. The study of this impact generates new insights into the well-known choice phenomenon of status quo bias, which typically refers to decision makers' tendency to stick to a default option. By designing a series of novel experiments, I find that this bias arises even when the choice is among prizes of fixed monetary value expressed in arithmetic form. I also find asymmetric attention (i.e., more time devoted to default options) and strikingly asymmetric choice errors; specifically, decision makers fail to select an alternative better than the default 28% of the time, while they incorrectly select an alternative worse than the default only 11% of the time; and provide evidence supporting a causal relationship between asymmetric attention and asymmetric errors. (JEL D03, D12, D83)

Suggested Citation

  • Sen Geng, 2016. "Decision Time, Consideration Time, And Status Quo Bias," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(1), pages 433-449, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:54:y:2016:i:1:p:433-449

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:jfpoli:v:85:y:2019:i:c:p:15-27 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Wiebke Roß & Jens Weghake, 2018. "Wa(h)re Liebe: Was Online-Dating-Plattformen über zweiseitige Märkte lehren," TUC Working Papers in Economics 0017, Abteilung für Volkswirtschaftslehre, Technische Universität Clausthal (Department of Economics, Technical University Clausthal).
    3. repec:kap:fmktpm:v:32:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s11408-018-0311-x is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:jeborg:v:144:y:2017:i:c:p:238-257 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:eee:joepsy:v:69:y:2018:i:c:p:61-86 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:eee:jetheo:v:169:y:2017:i:c:p:93-127 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:54:y:2016:i:1:p:433-449. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley Content Delivery). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.