IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Phishing holidays


  • David J Butler

    (Griffith University, Australia)


A recent book by Nobel laureates Akerlof and Shiller, Phishing for Phools , has drawn attention to the ‘dark side’ of the nudge. This article presents the timeshare market as an exemplar; a number of features of this market make it uniquely suitable for this purpose. I highlight the manner in which developers leverage consumer biases and cognitive limitations to secure sales. I then draw comparisons with the timeshare resale market to estimate the loss to consumers. I finish with some possible recommendations for reform.

Suggested Citation

  • David J Butler, 2018. "Phishing holidays," Tourism Economics, , vol. 24(6), pages 690-700, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:toueco:v:24:y:2018:i:6:p:690-700
    DOI: 10.1177/1354816618774484

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Charness, Gary & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2003. "Promises & Partnership," Research Papers in Economics 2003:3, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
    2. 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.
    3. Butler, David & Loomes, Graham, 2011. "Imprecision as an account of violations of independence and betweenness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 511-522.
    4. Sparks, Beverley A. & Bradley, Graham L. & Jennings, Gayle R. & Johnston, Nicole R., 2014. "Cooling off and backing out: Understanding consumer decisions to rescind a product purchase," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 2903-2910.
    5. Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2006. "Promises and Partnership," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1579-1601, November.
    6. Dan Ariely & George Loewenstein & Drazen Prelec, 2003. ""Coherent Arbitrariness": Stable Demand Curves Without Stable Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 73-106.
    7. George A. Akerlof & Robert J. Shiller, 2015. "Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 10534, October.
    8. Huber, Joel & Payne, John W & Puto, Christopher, 1982. "Adding Asymmetrically Dominated Alternatives: Violations of Regularity and the Similarity Hypothesis," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 90-98, June.
    9. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
    10. Sean M. Collins & Duncan James, 2015. "Response mode and stochastic choice together explain preference reversals," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 6(3), pages 825-856, November.
    11. David J. Butler & Graham C. Loomes, 2007. "Imprecision as an Account of the Preference Reversal Phenomenon," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 277-297, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Prasenjit Banerjee & Vegard Iversen & Sandip Mitra & Antonio Nicolò & Kunal Sen, 2018. "Politicians and their promises in an uncertain world: Evidence from a lab-in-the-field experiment in India," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 1806, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    2. Oben K Bayrak & Bengt Kriström, 2016. "Is there a valuation gap? The case of interval valuations," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 36(1), pages 218-236.
    3. repec:zbw:rwirep:0253 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Kniebes, Carola & Rehdanz, Katrin & Schmidt, Ulrich, 2014. "Validity of WTP measures under preference uncertainty," Kiel Working Papers 1972, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    5. Panos, Georgios & Theodossiou, Ioannis, 2009. "Union Mediation and Adaptation to Reciprocal Loyalty Arrangements," MPRA Paper 15471, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Houser, Daniel & Levy, David M. & Padgitt, Kail & Peart, Sandra J. & Xiao, Erte, 2014. "Raising the price of talk: An experimental analysis of transparent leadership," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 208-218.
    7. Michèle Belot & Jeroen Ven, 2017. "How private is private information? The ability to spot deception in an economic game," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 20(1), pages 19-43, March.
    8. Arbel, Yuval & Bar-El, Ronen & Siniver, Erez & Tobol, Yossef, 2014. "Roll a die and tell a lie – What affects honesty?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 107(PA), pages 153-172.
    9. Arbel, Yuval & Bar-El, Ronen & Siniver, Erez & Tobol, Yossef, 2014. "The Effect of Behavioral Codes and Gender on Honesty," IZA Discussion Papers 7946, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Uwe Dulleck & Rudolf Kerschbamer & Matthias Sutter, 2009. "The Economics of Credence Goods: On the Role of Liability, Verifiability, Reputation and Competition," Working Papers 2009-03, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    11. Serhiy Kandul & Bruno Lanz & Evert Reins, 2020. "Reciprocity and gift exchange in markets for credence goods," IRENE Working Papers 20-09, IRENE Institute of Economic Research.
    12. Timo Heinrich, 2011. "Communication and Reputation in Procurement Auctions – Some Empirical Evidence," Ruhr Economic Papers 0253, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    13. Siegenthaler, Simon, 2017. "Meet the lemons: An experiment on how cheap-talk overcomes adverse selection in decentralized markets," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 147-161.
    14. Andreas Pondorfer & Katrin Rehdanz, 2018. "Eliciting Preferences for Public Goods in Nonmonetized Communities: Accounting for Preference Uncertainty," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 94(1), pages 73-86.
    15. Carlos Alós-Ferrer & Johannes Buckenmaier & Michele Garagnani, 2020. "Stochastic choice and preference reversals," ECON - Working Papers 370, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    16. Michał Jakubczyk & Dominik Golicki, 2020. "Elicitation and modelling of imprecise utility of health states," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 88(1), pages 51-71, February.
    17. Wenner, Lukas M., 2018. "Do sellers exploit biased beliefs of buyers? An experiment," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 194-215.
    18. Behnk, Sascha & Barreda-Tarrazona, Iván & García-Gallego, Aurora, 2014. "The role of ex post transparency in information transmission—An experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 45-64.
    19. David J. Freeman & Guy Mayraz, 2019. "Why choice lists increase risk taking," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 22(1), pages 131-154, March.
    20. Heinrich, Timo, 2012. "Communication and reputation in procurement auctions — Some empirical evidence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 164-167.
    21. Sell Friedrich L., 2011. "Scham- und Schuldgefühl: Zur ökonomischen Bedeutung zweier kulturell motivierter Emotionen / Shame and Guilt: On the economic meaning of two emotions gained with culture," ORDO. Jahrbuch für die Ordnung von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, De Gruyter, vol. 62(1), pages 387-404, January.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sae:toueco:v:24:y:2018:i:6:p:690-700. 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: (SAGE Publications). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.