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Default effects, transaction costs, and imperfect information


  • Wilson, Chris M.
  • Garrod, Luke
  • Munro, Alistair


We develop a decision framework with imperfect information to analyze the effects of transaction costs on the tendency for individuals to remain with a default option. We demonstrate how transaction costs can be a more important source of such default effects than commonly thought. A further, potentially surprising result shows that transaction costs are able to explain why some forms of default effects increase with the number of options.

Suggested Citation

  • Wilson, Chris M. & Garrod, Luke & Munro, Alistair, 2013. "Default effects, transaction costs, and imperfect information," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 119(2), pages 213-215.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:119:y:2013:i:2:p:213-215 DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2013.02.022

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2003. "Optimal Defaults," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 180-185, May.
    2. Wilson, Chris M., 2012. "Market frictions: A unified model of search costs and switching costs," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1070-1086.
    3. Wilson, Chris M, 2009. "Market Frictions: A Unified Model of Search and Switching Costs," MPRA Paper 13672, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. S. Dellavigna., 2011. "Psychology and Economics: Evidence from the Field," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 4.
    5. Gabriel D. Carroll & James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2009. "Optimal Defaults and Active Decisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1639-1674.
    6. Dmitri Kuksov & J. Miguel Villas-Boas, 2010. "When More Alternatives Lead to Less Choice," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(3), pages 507-524, 05-06.
    7. Brigitte C. Madrian & Dennis F. Shea, 2001. "The Power of Suggestion: Inertia in 401(k) Participation and Savings Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1149-1187.
    8. Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. "Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
    9. Munro, Alistair & Sugden, Robert, 2003. "On the theory of reference-dependent preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 407-428, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dohmen, Thomas, 2014. "Behavioral labor economics: Advances and future directions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 71-85.

    More about this item


    Default effect; Transaction cost; Imperfect information;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness


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