IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Context effects: A representation of choices from categories

  • Barbos, Andrei

This paper studies a model of reference-dependent choice from sets of options grouped into categories. The proposed model is consistent with experimental evidence documenting context effects in a variety of choice situations. In our model, the reference point for any given category is subjective, and corresponds to the least preferred element in the category under consideration. Every object in a category is evaluated relative to the corresponding reference point; this may distort the objective ranking of options across different categories, and thus possibly give rise to a context-effects bias. The resulting representation is essentially unique. We also provide an economic application of the preferences that we axiomatize to principal-agent models. We show how sellers facing consumers exhibiting the context-effects bias can increase their profits by exploiting their bounded rationality.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 145 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 1224-1243

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:145:y:2010:i:3:p:1224-1243
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Koszegi, Botond & Rabin, Matthew, 2004. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt0w82b6nm, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  2. W. Pesendorfer & F. Gul, 1999. "Temptation and Self-Control," Princeton Economic Theory Papers 99f1, Economics Department, Princeton University.
  3. Dekel, Eddie & Lipman, Barton L & Rustichini, Aldo, 2001. "Representing Preferences with a Unique Subjective State Space," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 891-934, July.
  4. Huber, Joel & Payne, John W & Puto, Christopher, 1982. " Adding Asymmetrically Dominated Alternatives: Violations of Regularity and the Similarity Hypothesis," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 90-98, June.
  5. Kopylov, Igor, 2009. "Finite additive utility representations for preferences over menus," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 354-374, January.
  6. Hsee, Christopher K & Leclerc, France, 1998. " Will Products Look More Attractive When Presented Separately or Together?," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(2), pages 175-86, September.
  7. William Neilson, 2006. "Axiomatic reference-dependence in behavior toward others and toward risk," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 681-692, 08.
  8. Todd Sarver, 2008. "Anticipating Regret: Why Fewer Options May Be Better," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(2), pages 263-305, 03.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:145:y:2010:i:3:p:1224-1243. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.