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Reference Wealth Effects in Sequential Choice

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  • Neilson, William S

Abstract

It is argued that in order to accommodate experimentally-observed choice patterns, it is not enough to model the utility function as being dependent on changes from a reference wealth point. Instead, individuals should be modeled as treating decisions as part of an identifiable sequence of decisions, and utility should be a function of reference wealth, income so far from the sequence, and payoffs from the current decision. The three-argument utility function allows for risk aversion over gains and risk seeking over losses for the first choice in the sequence, and for the house money and break-even effects in later decisions. Copyright 1998 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Neilson, William S, 1998. "Reference Wealth Effects in Sequential Choice," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 27-47, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:17:y:1998:i:1:p:27-47
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Keasey, Kevin & Moon, Philip, 1996. "Gambling with the house money in capital expenditure decisions: An experimental analysis," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 105-110, January.
    3. Weber, Martin & Camerer, Colin F., 1998. "The disposition effect in securities trading: an experimental analysis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 167-184, January.
    4. Karni, Edi & Schmeidler, David, 1991. "Atemporal dynamic consistency and expected utility theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 401-408, August.
    5. Shefrin, Hersh & Statman, Meir, 1985. " The Disposition to Sell Winners Too Early and Ride Losers Too Long: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(3), pages 777-790, July.
    6. Thaler, Richard, 1980. "Toward a positive theory of consumer choice," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 39-60, March.
    7. Battalio, Raymond C & Kagel, John H & Jiranyakul, Komain, 1990. "Testing between Alternative Models of Choice under Uncertainty: Some Initial Results," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 25-50, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nicolas de Roos & Yianis Sarafidis, 2010. "Decision making under risk in Deal or No Deal," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(6), pages 987-1027.
    2. Darren Duxbury & Robert Hudson & Kevin Keasey & Zhishu Yang & Songyao Yao, 2013. "How prior realized outcomes affect portfolio decisions," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 41(4), pages 611-629, November.
    3. Page, Lionel & Page, Katie, 2010. "Last shall be first: A field study of biases in sequential performance evaluation on the Idol series," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 186-198, February.
    4. Kurt W. Rotthoff, 2015. "(Not Finding a) Sequential Order Bias in Elite Level Gymnastics," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 724-741, January.
    5. Duxbury, Darren & Hudson, Robert & Keasey, Kevin & Yang, Zhishu & Yao, Songyao, 2015. "Do the disposition and house money effects coexist? A reconciliation of two behavioral biases using individual investor-level data," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 55-68.
    6. Geiger, Gebhard, 2002. "On the statistical foundations of non-linear utility theory: The case of status quo-dependent preferences," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 136(2), pages 449-465, January.
    7. Fehr-Duda, Helga & Epper, Thomas & Bruhin, Adrian & Schubert, Renate, 2011. "Risk and rationality: The effects of mood and decision rules on probability weighting," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 14-24, April.
    8. Min Ding & Jehoshua Eliashberg & Joel Huber & Ritesh Saini, 2005. "Emotional Bidders---An Analytical and Experimental Examination of Consumers' Behavior in a Priceline-Like Reverse Auction," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(3), pages 352-364, March.
    9. Durham, Yvonne & Manly, Tracy S. & Ritsema, Christina, 2014. "The effects of income source, context, and income level on tax compliance decisions in a dynamic experiment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 220-233.
    10. Hillary N. Morgan & Kurt W. Rotthoff, 2014. "The Harder The Task, The Higher The Score: Findings Of A Difficulty Bias," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(3), pages 1014-1026, July.

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