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Welfare Economics with Intransitive Revealed Preferences: A Theory of the Endowment Effect

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  • H. LORNE CARMICHAEL
  • W. BENTLEY MACLEOD

Abstract

Economists use the standard rational model to predict behavior after a policy change and to determine the policy's welfare implications. Recent experimental observations are casting doubt on the predictive accuracy of the standard model, but the more realistic behavioral alternatives often provide a poor basis for making normative evaluations. This paper suggests that we can still predict behavior and measure welfare within the same model. We show that optimizing agents with standard preferences will in some cases behave as if they are subject to an endowment effect. Even so, we may still be able to uncover information about their preferences. Copyright 2006 Blackwell Publishing Inc..

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  • H. Lorne Carmichael & W. Bentley Macleod, 2006. "Welfare Economics with Intransitive Revealed Preferences: A Theory of the Endowment Effect," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 8(2), pages 193-218, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:8:y:2006:i:2:p:193-218
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    Cited by:

    1. B. Douglas Bernheim, 2010. "Behavioral welfare economics," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 57(2), pages 123-151, June.
    2. Bischoff, Ivo & Meckl, Jürgen, 2008. "Endowment effect theory, public goods and welfare," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1768-1774, October.
    3. Sousa, Yannick Ferreira De & Munro, Alistair, 2012. "Truck, barter and exchange versus the endowment effect: Virtual field experiments in an online game environment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 482-493.
    4. Roth, Gerrit, 2006. "Predicting the Gap between Willingness to Accept and Willingness to Pay," Munich Dissertations in Economics 4901, University of Munich, Department of Economics.

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