IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Uncertainty causes rounding: an experimental study

Listed author(s):
  • Paul Ruud

    ()

  • Daniel Schunk

    ()

  • Joachim Winter

    ()

Rounding is a common phenomenon when subjects provide an answer to an open-ended question, both in experimental tasks and in survey responses. From a statistical perspective, rounding implies that the measured variable is a coarsened version of the underlying continuous target variable. Since the coarsening process is non-random, inference from rounded data is generally biased. Despite the potentially severe consequences of rounding, little is known about its causes. In this paper, we focus on subjects’ uncertainty about the target variable as one potential cause for rounding behavior. We present a novel experimental method that induces uncertainty in a controlled way, thus providing causal evidence for the effect of subjects’ uncertainty on the extent of rounding. Then, we specify and estimate a mixture model that relates uncertainty and rounding. The results suggest that an increase in the exogenous level of uncertainty translates into higher variance of the subjects’ beliefs, which in turn results in more rounding. Copyright Economic Science Association 2014

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: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10683-013-9374-8
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

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 Springer & Economic Science Association in its journal Experimental Economics.

Volume (Year): 17 (2014)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 391-413

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:17:y:2014:i:3:p:391-413
DOI: 10.1007/s10683-013-9374-8
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springer.com

Web page: https://www.economicscience.org/index.html;jsessionid=3F1701A870A8B0D3BDB91479792ADFA5
Email:


More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: http://www.springer.com/economics/economic+theory/journal/10683/PS2

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. Engelberg, Joseph & Manski, Charles F. & Williams, Jared, 2009. "Comparing the Point Predictions and Subjective Probability Distributions of Professional Forecasters," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 27, pages 30-41.
  2. Erich Battistin & Raffaele Miniaci & Guglielmo Weber, 2003. "What Do We Learn from Recall Consumption Data?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(2).
  3. Adrian Bruhin & Helga Fehr-Duda & Thomas Epper, 2010. "Risk and Rationality: Uncovering Heterogeneity in Probability Distortion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(4), pages 1375-1412, 07.
  4. Hans-Martin von Gaudecker & Arthur van Soest & Erik Wengstrom, 2011. "Heterogeneity in Risky Choice Behavior in a Broad Population," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 664-694, April.
  5. Hoderlein, Stefan & Winter, Joachim, 2010. "Structural measurement errors in nonseparable models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 157(2), pages 432-440, August.
  6. Charles Bellemare & Luc Bissonnette & Sabine Kröger, 2010. "Bounding preference parameters under different assumptions about beliefs: a partial identification approach," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 13(3), pages 334-345, September.
  7. Charles F. Manski, 2004. "Measuring Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1329-1376, 09.
  8. Rustichini, Aldo & Dickhaut, John & Ghirardato, Paolo & Smith, Kip & Pardo, Jose V., 2005. "A brain imaging study of the choice procedure," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 257-282, August.
  9. Kristin J. Kleinjans & Arthur Van Soest, 2014. "Rounding, Focal Point Answers And Nonresponse To Subjective Probability Questions," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(4), pages 567-585, 06.
  10. John Hey & Gianna Lotito & Anna Maffioletti, 2010. "The descriptive and predictive adequacy of theories of decision making under uncertainty/ambiguity," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 81-111, October.
  11. Manski, Charles F. & Molinari, Francesca, 2010. "Rounding Probabilistic Expectations in Surveys," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 28(2), pages 219-231.
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:kap:expeco:v:17:y:2014:i:3:p:391-413. 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: (Sonal Shukla)

or (Rebekah McClure)

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.