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Learning to Like What You Have - Explaining the Endowment Effect

  • Steffen Huck
  • Georg Kirchsteiger
  • Jörg Oechssler

The endowment effect describes the fact that people demand much more to give up an object than they are willing to spend to acquire it. The existence of this effect has been documented in numerous experiments. We attempt to explain this effect by showing that evolution favors individuals whose preferences embody an endowment effect. The reason is that an endowment effect improves one's bargaining position in bilateral trades. We show that for a general class of evolutionary processes strictly positive endowment effects will survive in the long run.

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File URL: http://www.wiwi.uni-bonn.de/bgsepapers/bonedp/bgse5_2003.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Bonn, Germany in its series Bonn Econ Discussion Papers with number bgse5_2003.

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Length: 24
Date of creation: Mar 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bon:bonedp:bgse5_2003
Contact details of provider: Postal: Bonn Graduate School of Economics, University of Bonn, Adenauerallee 24 - 26, 53113 Bonn, Germany
Fax: +49 228 73 6884
Web page: http://www.bgse.uni-bonn.de

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  11. Binmore, Ken & Morgan, Peter & Snaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1991. "Do people exploit their bargaining power? An experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 295-322, August.
  12. Steffen Huck & Joerg Oechssler, 1995. "The Indirect Evolutionary Approach to Explaining Fair Allocations," Game Theory and Information 9507001, EconWPA, revised 27 Aug 1998.
  13. Sethi, Rajiv & Somanathan, E., 2001. "Preference Evolution and Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 273-297, April.
  14. Heifetz, Aviad & Shannon, Chris & Spiegel, Yossi, 2002. "What to Maximize If You Must," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt0hj6631n, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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  16. Ely, Jeffrey C. & Yilankaya, Okan, 2001. "Nash Equilibrium and the Evolution of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 255-272, April.
  17. Ariel Rubinstein, 2010. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000387, David K. Levine.
  18. Iris Bohnet & Bruno S. Frey & Steffen Huck, . "More Order with Less Law: On Contract Enforcement, Trust, and Crowding," IEW - Working Papers 052, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
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  21. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1325-48, December.
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  25. Young H. P., 1993. "An Evolutionary Model of Bargaining," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 145-168, February.
  26. Hanemann, W Michael, 1991. "Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Accept: How Much Can They Differ?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 635-47, June.
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  28. Gale, John & Binmore, Kenneth G. & Samuelson, Larry, 1995. "Learning to be imperfect: The ultimatum game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 56-90.
  29. Heifetz, Aviad & Shannon, Chris & Spiegel, Yossi, 2002. "What to Maximize If You Must," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt0300m6q8, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  30. Knetsch, Jack L & Sinden, J A, 1987. "The Persistence of Evaluation Disparities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(3), pages 691-95, August.
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