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Not all anchors are created equal

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  • Sugden, Robert
  • Zheng, Jiwei
  • Zizzo, Daniel John

Abstract

We investigate the effects of a range of different types of anchor on WTP and WTA valuations of familiar consumer products, elicited through individuals’ buying or selling decisions at given prices. We find anchoring effects only when the anchor value is framed as a plausible price for the good for which the individual is a potential buyer or seller. Anchoring effects are stronger for WTA than for WTP. We conclude that anchoring effects can affect market behaviour, but that not all anchors are effective.

Suggested Citation

  • Sugden, Robert & Zheng, Jiwei & Zizzo, Daniel John, 2013. "Not all anchors are created equal," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 21-31.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:39:y:2013:i:c:p:21-31
    DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2013.06.008
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Isoni, Andrea & Brooks, Peter & Loomes, Graham & Sugden, Robert, 2016. "Do markets reveal preferences or shape them?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 1-16.
    2. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine & Zacharias Maniadis, 2012. "On the Robustness of Anchoring Effects in WTP and WTA Experiments," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 131-145, May.
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    6. Jonathan E. Alevy & Craig E. Landry & John A. List, 2015. "Field Experiments On The Anchoring Of Economic Valuations," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 53(3), pages 1522-1538, July.
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    8. Fabio Tufano, 2010. "Are ‘true’ preferences revealed in repeated markets? An experimental demonstration of context-dependent valuations," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 13(1), pages 1-13, March.
    9. Mussweiler, Thomas & Strack, Fritz, 2001. "The Semantics of Anchoring," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 234-255, November.
    10. Graham Loomes & Chris Starmer & Robert Sugden, 2003. "Do Anomalies Disappear in Repeated Markets?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(486), pages 153-166, March.
    11. Bergman, Oscar & Ellingsen, Tore & Johannesson, Magnus & Svensson, Cicek, 2010. "Anchoring and cognitive ability," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(1), pages 66-68, April.
    12. Don L. Coursey & John L. Hovis & William D. Schulze, 1987. "The Disparity Between Willingness to Accept and Willingness to Pay Measures of Value," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(3), pages 679-690.
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    Cited by:

    1. Catherine Roux & Christian Thöni, 2015. "Do control questions influence behavior in experiments?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(2), pages 185-194, June.
    2. Holst, Gesa Sophie & Hermann, Daniel & Musshoff, Oliver, 2015. "Anchoring effects in an experimental auction – Are farmers anchored?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 106-117.
    3. Meub, Lukas & Proeger, Till, 2016. "Are groups 'less behavioral'? The case of anchoring," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 188 [rev.], University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    4. Wenner, Lukas M., 2015. "Expected prices as reference points—Theory and experiments," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 60-79.
    5. Achilleas Vassilopoulos & Andreas C. Drichoutis & Rodolfo M. Nayga, Jr, 2018. "Loss Aversion, Expectations and Anchoring in the BDM Mechanism," Working Papers 2018-1, Agricultural University of Athens, Department Of Agricultural Economics.
    6. Isoni, Andrea & Brooks, Peter & Loomes, Graham & Sugden, Robert, 2016. "Do markets reveal preferences or shape them?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 1-16.
    7. Sangsuk Yoon & Nathan M. Fong & Angelika Dimoka, 2019. "The robustness of anchoring effects on preferential judgments," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 14(4), pages 470-487, July.
    8. Sitzia, Stefania & Zizzo, Daniel John, 2012. "Price lower and then higher or price higher and then lower?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1084-1099.
    9. Holst, G.S. & Hermann, D. & Mußhoff, O., 2015. "Anchoring Effects in an Experimental Auction," Proceedings “Schriften der Gesellschaft für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften des Landbaues e.V.”, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA), vol. 50, March.
    10. Meub, Lukas & Proeger, Till, 2014. "Are groups 'less behavioral'? The case of anchoring," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 188, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    11. Magdalena Brzozowicz & Michał Krawczyk & Przemysław Kusztelak, 2017. "Do anchors hold for real? Anchoring effect and hypothetical bias in declared WTP," Working Papers 2017-24, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    12. Weinstock, Eyal & Sonsino, Doron, 2014. "Are risk-seekers more optimistic? Non-parametric approach," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 236-251.
    13. Belton, Cameron A. & Sugden, Robert, 2018. "Attention and novelty: An experimental investigation of order effects in multiple valuation tasks," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 103-115.
    14. Glenk, Klaus & Meyerhoff, Jürgen & Akaichi, Faical & Martin-Ortega, Julia, 2019. "Revisiting cost vector effects in discrete choice experiments," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 135-155.
    15. Magdalena Brzozowicz & Michał Krawczyk, 2020. "Honey, Mugs and Caricatures: anchors on prices of consumer goods only hold hypothetically," Working Papers 2020-40, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    16. Lukas Meub & Till Proeger, 2018. "Are groups ‘less behavioral’? The case of anchoring," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 85(2), pages 117-150, August.
    17. Konstantinos Ioannidis & Theo Offerman & Randolph Sloof, 2020. "On the effect of anchoring on valuations when the anchor is transparently uninformative," Journal of the Economic Science Association, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 6(1), pages 77-94, June.
    18. Konstantinos Ioannidis & Theo Offerman & Randolph Sloof, 2019. "On the effect of anchoring on valuations when the anchor is transparently uninformative," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 19-074/I, Tinbergen Institute, revised 27 Apr 2020.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Anchoring effect; Endowment effect;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis

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