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Social Influence and Household Decision-Making: A Behavioural Analysis of Housing Demand

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Abstract

Housing markets are subject to many interrelated sources of instability on both a microeconomic and macroeconomic scale. Housing decisions of different individuals will be interdependent, generating non-linearities, discontinuities and feedback effects. This paper focuses in on some behavioural factors that contribute to complexity in housing demand. In particular, the impact of herding and social influence is captured using a model incorporating the impact of social information on willingness to pay. This model is tested in an experimental context and this experimental evidence confirms first, that social information has a statistically significant impact and, second, this impact is determined by a person’s individual characteristics including gender and personality traits.

Suggested Citation

  • Baddeley, M., 2011. "Social Influence and Household Decision-Making: A Behavioural Analysis of Housing Demand," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1120, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:1120
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    File URL: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/research-files/repec/cam/pdf/cwpe1120.pdf
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    1. Gary Charness & Luca Rigotti & Aldo Rustichini, 2007. "Individual Behavior and Group Membership," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1340-1352, September.
    2. David Genesove & Christopher Mayer, 2001. "Loss Aversion and Seller Behavior: Evidence from the Housing Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1233-1260.
    3. George A. Akerlof, 2009. "How Human Psychology Drives the Economy and Why It Matters," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1175-1175.
    4. Earl, Peter E. & Peng, Ti-Ching & Potts, Jason, 2007. "Decision-rule cascades and the dynamics of speculative bubbles," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 351-364, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Housing markets; herding; social influence; behavioural economics;

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand

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