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Reconsidering the Effect of Market Experience on the “Endowment Effect”

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  • Dirk Engelmann
  • Guillaume Hollard

Abstract

Simple exchange experiments have revealed that participants trade their endowment less frequently than standard demand theory would predict. List (2003a) finds that the most experienced dealers acting in a well-functioning market are not subject to this exchange asymmetry, suggesting that a significant amount of market experience is required to overcome it. In order to understand this market-experience effect, we introduce a distinction between two types of uncertainty, choice uncertainty and trade uncertainty, both of which could lead to exchange asymmetry. We conjecture that trade uncertainty is most important for exchange asymmetry. To test this conjecture, we design an experiment where the two treatments impact differently on trade uncertainty, while controlling for choice uncertainty. Supporting our conjecture, we find that "forcing" subjects to give away their endowment in a series of exchanges eliminates exchange asymmetry in a subsequent test. We discuss why markets might not provide sufficient incentives for learning to overcome exchange asymmetry.
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Suggested Citation

  • Dirk Engelmann & Guillaume Hollard, 2010. "Reconsidering the Effect of Market Experience on the “Endowment Effect”," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(6), pages 2005-2019, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:78:y:2010:i:6:p:2005-2019
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Botond Kőszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2006. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1133-1165.
    2. Seidl, Christian, 2002. " Preference Reversal," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(5), pages 621-655, December.
    3. Jacinto Braga & Chris Starmer, 2005. "Preference Anomalies, Preference Elicitation and the Discovered Preference Hypothesis," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 32(1), pages 55-89, September.
    4. John A. List, 2003. "Does Market Experience Eliminate Market Anomalies?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 41-71.
    5. John A. List, 2004. "Neoclassical Theory Versus Prospect Theory: Evidence from the Marketplace," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(2), pages 615-625, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Santosh Anagol & Vimal Balasubramaniam & Tarun Ramadorai, 2018. "Endowment Effects in the Field: Evidence from India’s IPO Lotteries," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 85(4), pages 1971-2004.
    2. Stephens, Thomas A & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2012. "“At least I didn’t lose money” Nominal Loss Aversion Shapes Evaluations of Housing Transactions," CEPR Discussion Papers 9198, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Svirsky, Daniel, 2014. "Money is no object: Testing the endowment effect in exchange goods," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 227-234.
    4. Lunn,Pete & Lunn, Mary, 2014. "What Can I Get For It? The Relationship Between the Choice Equivalent, Willingness to Accept and Willingness to Pay," Papers WP479, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    5. Tanjim Hossain & John A. List, 2012. "The Behavioralist Visits the Factory: Increasing Productivity Using Simple Framing Manipulations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(12), pages 2151-2167, December.
    6. Sean Crockett, 2013. "Price Dynamics In General Equilibrium Experiments," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 421-438, July.
    7. Dertwinkel-Kalt, Markus & Köhler, Katrin, 2016. "Exchange asymmetries for bads? Experimental evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 231-241.
    8. Omar Al-Ubaydli & John A. List, 2016. "Field Experiments in Markets," NBER Working Papers 22113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. John A. List, 2011. "Does Market Experience Eliminate Market Anomalies? The Case of Exogenous Market Experience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 313-317, May.
    10. Keith M. Marzilli Ericson & Andreas Fuster, 2014. "The Endowment Effect," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 555-579, August.
    11. Andrea Repetto & Alejandro Jofré & Sofía Moroni, 2012. "Dynamic Contracts Under Loss Aversion," Working Papers wp_024, Adolfo Ibáñez University, School of Government.
    12. Alexander Brown & Gregory Cohen, 2015. "Does anonymity affect the willingness to accept and willingness to pay gap? A generalization of Plott and Zeiler," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(2), pages 173-184, June.
    13. Steffen Andersen & Alec Brandon & Uri Gneezy & John List, 2014. "Toward an Understanding of Reference-Dependent Labor Supply: Theory and Evidence from a Field Experiment," Framed Field Experiments 00392, The Field Experiments Website.
    14. Steven J. Humphrey & Luke Lindsay & Chris Starmer, 2017. "Consumption experience, choice experience and the endowment effect," Journal of the Economic Science Association, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 3(2), pages 109-120, December.
    15. Schwerter, Frederik, 2015. "Social Reference Points and Risk Taking," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112889, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    16. Brown, Thomas C. & Morrison, Mark D. & Benfield, Jacob A. & Rainbolt, Gretchen Nurse & Bell, Paul A., 2015. "Exchange asymmetry in experimental settings," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 104-116.
    17. Ori Heffetz & John A. List, 2014. "Is The Endowment Effect An Expectations Effect?," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(5), pages 1396-1422, October.
    18. Ori Heffetz & John A. List, 2011. "Is the Endowment Effect a Reference Effect?," NBER Working Papers 16715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Anmol Ratan, 2012. "Mistakes, Closure and Endowment Effect in Laboratory Experiments," Monash Economics Working Papers 22-12, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    20. Fehr, Dietmar & Hakimov, Rustamdjan & Kübler, Dorothea, 2015. "The willingness to pay–willingness to accept gap: A failed replication of Plott and Zeiler," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 120-128.
    21. Kingsley, David C. & Brown, Thomas C., 2013. "Value learning and the willingness to accept–willingness to pay disparity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(3), pages 473-476.

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