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Holding on for too long? An experimental study on inertia in entrepreneurs’ and non-entrepreneurs’ disinvestment choices

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  • Sandri, Serena
  • Schade, Christian
  • Musshoff, Oliver
  • Odening, Martin

Abstract

Disinvestment, in the sense of project termination and liquidation of assets including the cession of a venture, is an important realm of entrepreneurial decision-making. This study presents the results of an experimental investigation modeling the choice to disinvest as a dynamic problem of optimal stopping in which the patterns of decisions are analyzed with entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs. Our experimental results reject the standard net present value approach as an account of observed behavior. Instead, most individuals seem to understand the value of waiting. Their choices are weakly related to the disinvestment triggers derived from a formal optimal stopping benchmark consistent with real options reasoning. We also observe a pronounced ‘psychological inertia’, i.e., most individuals hold on to a losing project for even longer than real options reasoning would predict. The study provides evidence for entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs being quite similar in their behavior.

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  • Sandri, Serena & Schade, Christian & Musshoff, Oliver & Odening, Martin, 2010. "Holding on for too long? An experimental study on inertia in entrepreneurs’ and non-entrepreneurs’ disinvestment choices," Structural Change in Agriculture/Strukturwandel im Agrarsektor (SiAg) Working Papers 59518, Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:huscpw:59518
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    Cited by:

    1. Ihli, Hanna Julia & Maart, Syster Christin & Musshoff, Oliver, 2012. "Investment and Disinvestment in Irrigation Technology – An Experimental Analysis of Farmers’ Decision Behavior –," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124532, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. Sabrina Artinger & Nir Vulkan & Yotam Shem-Tov, 2015. "Entrepreneurs’ negotiation behavior," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 44(4), pages 737-757, April.
    3. Ahmad Barirani & Randolph Sloof & Mirjam van Praag, 2017. "The Origins and Extent of Entrepreneurial Action-Orientedness: An Experimental Study," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 17-006/VII, Tinbergen Institute.
    4. Mußhoff, Oliver & Hirschauer, Norbert & Hengel, Philipp, 2011. "Sind Unternehmensplanspiele ein geeignetes Instrument zur Analyse begrenzter Rationalität und tatsächlichen Entscheidungsverhaltens?," Journal of International Agricultural Trade and Development, Journal of International Agricultural Trade and Development, vol. 60(3).
    5. Cooper, David J. & Saral, Krista Jabs, 2013. "Entrepreneurship and team participation: An experimental study," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 126-140.
    6. Appel, Franziska & Musshoff, Oliver, 2011. "How appropriate are myopic optimization models to predict decision behaviour: A comparison between agent-based models and business management games," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 115994, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    7. Maart, Syster Christin & Musshoff, Oliver & Odening, Martin & Schade, Christian, 2010. "Zum Desinvestitionsverhalten Landwirtschaftlicher Unternehmer: Ergebnisse Einer Experimentellen Untersuchung," 50st Annual Conference, Braunschweig, Germany, September 29-October 1, 2010 93943, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
    8. Martin Koudstaal & Randolph Sloof & Mirjam van Praag, 2016. "Risk, Uncertainty, and Entrepreneurship: Evidence from a Lab-in-the-Field Experiment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(10), pages 2897-2915, October.
    9. repec:bla:stratm:v:38:y:2017:i:2:p:278-299 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Artinger, Sabrina & Schade, Christian, 2013. "Girls will be Girls: An Experimental Study on Female Entrepreneurship," Structural Change in Agriculture/Strukturwandel im Agrarsektor (SiAg) Working Papers 146511, Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics.
    11. Tubetov, Dulat & Musshoff, Oliver & Kellner, Ulla, 0. "Investments in Kazakhstani Dairy Farming: A Comparison of Classical Investment Theory and the Real Options Approach," Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, vol. 51.
    12. Schade, Christian & Snir, Avichai, 2012. "When the stress of quitting meets the cost of playing: An Experiment on to quit or not to quit?," Structural Change in Agriculture/Strukturwandel im Agrarsektor (SiAg) Working Papers 134426, Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics.
    13. repec:spr:manrev:v:68:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s11301-018-0135-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Huettel, Silke & Narayana, Rashmi & Odening, Martin, 2011. "Measuring dynamic efficiency under uncertainty," Structural Change in Agriculture/Strukturwandel im Agrarsektor (SiAg) Working Papers 129062, Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics.
    15. Hakan J. Holm & Sonja Opper & Victor Nee, 2013. "Entrepreneurs Under Uncertainty: An Economic Experiment in China," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 59(7), pages 1671-1687, July.
    16. Martin Koudstaal & Randolph Sloof & Mirjam van Praag, 2015. "Are Entrepreneurs more Optimistic and Overconfident than Managers and Employees?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-124/VII, Tinbergen Institute.
    17. Holm, Håkan J. & Opper, Sonja & Nee, Victor, 2012. "Entrepreneurs under Uncertainty: An Economic Experiment," Working Papers 2012:4, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    18. Margarian, Anne, 2009. "The regional specifity of structural change in agriculture: An assessment of the role of farmers’ strategic behaviour on the land market," Structural Change in Agriculture/Strukturwandel im Agrarsektor (SiAg) Working Papers 59522, Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics.
    19. John D Hey & Konstantina Mari, 2015. "Do People Disinvest Optimally?," Discussion Papers 15/13, Department of Economics, University of York.
    20. Iván Arribas & Penélope Hernández & Amparo Urbano Salvador & Jose E. Vila, 2012. "Are social and entrepreneurial attitudes compatible? A behavioral and self-perceptional analysis," Discussion Papers in Economic Behaviour 0512, University of Valencia, ERI-CES.
    21. Burmeister-Lamp, Katrin & Lévesque, Moren & Schade, Christian, 2012. "Are entrepreneurs influenced by risk attitude, regulatory focus or both? An experiment on entrepreneurs' time allocation," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 456-476.

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    Keywords

    Real-Options; Disinvestment; Exit Behavior; Experimental Economics; Agribusiness; Agricultural and Food Policy; Agricultural Finance; Institutional and Behavioral Economics;

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