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Endowment effect theory, public goods and welfare

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  • Bischoff, Ivo
  • Meckl, Jürgen

Abstract

According to endowment effect theory, the observed difference between the willingness to pay for a good and the willingness to accept retribution payments for giving up that good can be caused either by a disutility from parting or by an extra ownership utility. We analyze the welfare implications of these two alternatives with special emphasis on the case where they are good specific. Within a two-sector general-equilibrium model, we show that the ownership-utility effect may cause welfare losses: allocation inefficiencies are to be expected particularly with the provision of public goods.

Suggested Citation

  • Bischoff, Ivo & Meckl, Jürgen, 2008. "Endowment effect theory, public goods and welfare," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1768-1774, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:37:y:2008:i:5:p:1768-1774
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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.
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    4. Ian Bateman & Alistair Munro & Bruce Rhodes & Chris Starmer & Robert Sugden, 1997. "A Test of the Theory of Reference-Dependent Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 479-505.
    5. Daniel Kahneman & Jack L. Knetsch & Richard H. Thaler, 1991. "Anomalies: The Endowment Effect, Loss Aversion, and Status Quo Bias," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 193-206, Winter.
    6. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1991. "Loss Aversion in Riskless Choice: A Reference-Dependent Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1039-1061.
    7. Borges, Bernhard F. J. & Knetsch, Jack L., 1998. "Tests of market outcomes with asymmetric valuations of gains and losses: Smaller gains, fewer trades, and less value," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 185-193, January.
    8. Ivo Bischoff, 2008. "Endowment effect theory, prediction bias and publicly provided goods: an experimental study," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 39(3), pages 283-296, March.
    9. Thaler, Richard, 1980. "Toward a positive theory of consumer choice," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 39-60, March.
    10. H. Lorne Carmichael & W. Bentley Macleod, 2006. "Welfare Economics with Intransitive Revealed Preferences: A Theory of the Endowment Effect," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 8(2), pages 193-218, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas, Veronica L. & Yeh, Marie & Jewell, Robert D., 2015. "Enhancing valuation: the impact of self-congruence with a brand on the endowment effect," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 178-185.
    2. Pablo Pintos & Pedro Linares, 2016. "Assessing the EU ETS with an Integrated Model," Working Papers 01-2016, Economics for Energy.
    3. I. Lens & M. Pandelaere & L. Warlop, 2009. "The Role of Materialism in the Endowment Effect," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 09/578, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.

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