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Observing Violations of Transitivity by Experimental Methods


  • Loomes, Graham
  • Starmer, Chris
  • Sugden, Robert


The preference reversal phenomenon is usually interpreted as evidence of nontransitivity of preference, but has also been explained as the result of the difference between individuals' responses to choice and valuation problems; the devices used by experimenters to elicit valuations; and the "random lottery selection" incentive system. This paper reports an experiment designed so that none of these factors could generate systematic nontransitivities; yet systematic violations of transitivity were still found. The pattern of violation was analogous with that found in previous preference reversal experiments and is consistent with regret theory. Copyright 1991 by The Econometric Society.

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  • Loomes, Graham & Starmer, Chris & Sugden, Robert, 1991. "Observing Violations of Transitivity by Experimental Methods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(2), pages 425-439, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:59:y:1991:i:2:p:425-39

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jeongwen Chiang, 1991. "A Simultaneous Approach to the Whether, What and How Much to Buy Questions," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 10(4), pages 297-315.
    2. Tülin Erdem & Susumu Imai & Michael Keane, 2003. "Brand and Quantity Choice Dynamics Under Price Uncertainty," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 5-64, March.
    3. Victor Aguirregabiria, 1999. "The Dynamics of Markups and Inventories in Retailing Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(2), pages 275-308.
    4. Boizot, Christine & Robin, Jean-Marc & Visser, Michael, 2001. "The Demand for Food Products: An Analysis of Interpurchase Times and Purchased Quantities," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 391-419, April.
    5. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-890, July.
    6. Hugo Benitez-Silva & John Rust & Gunter Hitsch & Giorgio Pauletto & George Hall, 2000. "A Comparison Of Discrete And Parametric Methods For Continuous-State Dynamic Programming Problems," Computing in Economics and Finance 2000 24, Society for Computational Economics.
    7. David R. Bell & Jeongwen Chiang & V. Padmanabhan, 1999. "The Decomposition of Promotional Response: An Empirical Generalization," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 18(4), pages 504-526.
    8. Aguirregabiria, Victor, 2005. "Nonparametric identification of behavioral responses to counterfactual policy interventions in dynamic discrete decision processes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 87(3), pages 393-398, June.
    9. Boztuğ, Yasemin & Bell, David R., 2004. "The Effect of Inventory on Purchase Incidence: Empirical Analysis of Opposing Forces of Storage and Consumption," Papers 2004,43, Humboldt University of Berlin, Center for Applied Statistics and Economics (CASE).
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