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Complexity and biases

Author

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  • Kenan Kalaycı

    () (University of Queensland)

  • Marta Serra-Garcia

    () (UCSD)

Abstract

Abstract We examine experimentally how complexity affects decision-making, when individuals choose among different products with varying benefits and costs. We find that complexity in costs leads to choosing a high-benefit product, with high costs and overall lower payoffs. In contrast, when complexity is in the benefits of the product, we cannot reject the hypothesis of random mistakes. We also examine the role of heterogeneous complexity. We find that individuals still (mistakenly) choose the high-benefit but costly product, even if cheaper and simple products are available. Our results suggest that salience is a main driver of choices under different forms of complexity.

Suggested Citation

  • Kenan Kalaycı & Marta Serra-Garcia, 2016. "Complexity and biases," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(1), pages 31-50, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:19:y:2016:i:1:d:10.1007_s10683-015-9434-3
    DOI: 10.1007/s10683-015-9434-3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    as


    Cited by:

    1. Kai Duttle & Keigo Inukai, 2015. "Complexity Aversion: Influences of Cognitive Abilities, Culture and System of Thought," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(2), pages 846-855.
    2. Ioana Chioveanu & Jidong Zhou, 2013. "Price Competition with Consumer Confusion," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(11), pages 2450-2469, November.
    3. Chioveanu, Ioana & Zhou, Jidong, 2009. "Price Competition and Consumer Confusion," MPRA Paper 17340, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Gu, Yiquan & Wenzel, Tobias, 2015. "Putting on a tight leash and levelling playing field: An experiment in strategic obfuscation and consumer protection," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 120-128.
    5. Sandro Ambuehl & B. Douglas Bernheim & Annamaria Lusardi, 2014. "A Method for Evaluating the Quality of Financial Decision Making, with an Application to Financial Education," NBER Working Papers 20618, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Abeler, Johannes & Jäger, Simon, 2013. "Complex Tax Incentives: An Experimental Investigation," IZA Discussion Papers 7373, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Naomi E. Feldman & Bradley J. Ruffle, 2012. "The Impact Of Tax Exclusive And Inclusive Prices On Demand," Working Papers 1207, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
    8. Huck, Steffen & Zhou, Jidong, 2011. "Consumer behavioural biases in competition: A survey," MPRA Paper 31794, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Complexity; Mistakes; Credit Choice; Experiment; Salience;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • G02 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Behavioral Finance: Underlying Principles

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