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Testing explanations of preference reversal

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  • Robin P. Cubitt
  • Alistair Munro
  • Chris Starmer

Abstract

We present a new experimental investigation of preference reversal. Although economists and psychologists have suggested a variety of accounts for this phenomenon, the existing data do not adequately discriminate between them. Relative to previous studies, our design offers enhanced control for economic explanations and new tests of psychological hypotheses. We find a pattern of preference reversals that is inconsistent with all of the best-known explanations of the phenomenon proposed by economists, with the fundamental economic assumption of context-free preferences, and with several psychological theories of preference reversal. We explore the explanatory strategies that survive exposure to our data. Copyright 2004 Royal Economic Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Robin P. Cubitt & Alistair Munro & Chris Starmer, 2004. "Testing explanations of preference reversal," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 709-726, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:114:y:2004:i:497:p:709-726
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    Cited by:

    1. Carlos Alós-Ferrer & Ðura-Georg Granić & Johannes Kern & Alexander K. Wagner, 2016. "Preference reversals: Time and again," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 52(1), pages 65-97, February.
    2. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:4:y:2007:i:14:p:1-10 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Loomes, Graham & Starmer, Chris & Sugden, Robert, 2010. "Preference reversals and disparities between willingness to pay and willingness to accept in repeated markets," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, pages 374-387.
    4. Ferdinand M. Vieider, 2008. "Separating Real Incentives and Accountability," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-055/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    5. Mathieu Lefebvre & Ferdinand Vieider & Marie Villeval, 2011. "The ratio bias phenomenon: fact or artifact?," Theory and Decision, Springer, pages 615-641.
    6. David J. Butler & Graham C. Loomes, 2007. "Imprecision as an Account of the Preference Reversal Phenomenon," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 277-297, March.
    7. Yves Alarie & Georges Dionne, 2005. "Testing Explanations of Preference Reversal: a Model," Cahiers de recherche 0510, CIRPEE.
    8. Luke Lindsay, 2013. "The arguments of utility: Preference reversals in expected utility of income models," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 175-189, April.
    9. Braga, Jacinto & Humphrey, Steven J. & Starmer, Chris, 2009. "Market experience eliminates some anomalies--and creates new ones," European Economic Review, Elsevier, pages 401-416.
    10. Ulrich Schmidt & Chris Starmer & Robert Sugden, 2008. "Third-generation prospect theory," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 203-223, June.
    11. Joyce E Berg & John W Dickhaut & Thomas A Rietz, 2004. "Preference Reversals: The Impact of Truth-Revealing Incentives," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000571, UCLA Department of Economics.
    12. Drichoutis, Andreas & Nayga, Rodolfo, 2013. "A reconciliation of time preference elicitation methods," MPRA Paper 46916, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 12 May 2013.
    13. Oliver, Adam, 2013. "Testing the rate of preference reversal in personal and social decision-making," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1250-1257.
    14. Attema, Arthur E. & Brouwer, Werner B.F., 2013. "In search of a preferred preference elicitation method: A test of the internal consistency of choice and matching tasks," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 126-140.
    15. Ball, Linden J. & Bardsley, Nicholas & Ormerod, Tom, 2012. "Do preference reversals generalise? Results on ambiguity and loss aversion," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 48-57.
    16. Berg, Joyce E. & Dickhaut, John W. & Rietz, Thomas A., 2010. "Preference reversals: The impact of truth-revealing monetary incentives," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 443-468, March.
    17. Pavlo Blavatskyy, 2009. "Preference reversals and probabilistic decisions," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 237-250, December.
    18. Drichoutis, Andreas & Nayga, Rodolfo & Klonaris, Stathis, 2010. "The Effects of Induced Mood on Preference Reversals and Bidding Behavior in Experimental Auction Valuation," MPRA Paper 25597, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. repec:eee:touman:v:65:y:2018:i:c:p:29-40 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Han Bleichrodt & Jose Luis Pinto-Prades, 2006. "A New Type of Preference Reversal," Working Papers 06.18, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.

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