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The Control Premium: A Preference for Payoff Autonomy

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  • Owens, David
  • Grossman , Zachary
  • Fackler , Ryan

Abstract

We document a lower bound for thecontrol premium: agents' willingness to pay to control their own payoff. Participants choose between an asset that will pay only if they later answer a particular quiz question correctly and one that pays only if their partner answers a different question correctly. However, they first estimate the likelihood that each asset will pay off. Participants are 20% more likely to choose to control their payoff than a group of payoff-maximizers with accurate beliefs. While some of this deviation is explained by overconfidence, 34% of it can only be explained by the control premium. The average participant expresses a control premium equivalent to 8% to 15% of the expected asset-earnings. Our results show that even agents with accurate beliefs may incur costs to avoid delegating and suggest that to correctly infer beliefs from choices, one should account for the control premium.

Suggested Citation

  • Owens, David & Grossman , Zachary & Fackler , Ryan, 2012. "The Control Premium: A Preference for Payoff Autonomy," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt5bg845s1, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucsbec:qt5bg845s1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Wagner, Alexander K. & Granic, Dura-Georg, 2017. "Tie-Breaking Power in Committees," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168187, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Silvia Dominguez Martinez & Randolph Sloof & Ferdinand von Siemens, 2010. "Monitoring your Friends, not your Foes: Strategic Ignorance and the Delegation of Real Authority," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 10-101/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    3. David Danz & Frank Hüber & Dorothea Kübler & Lydia Mechtenberg & Julia Schmid, 2013. "‘I'll do it by myself as I knew it all along’: On the failure of hindsight-biased principals to delegate optimally," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2013-009, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    4. repec:kap:jrisku:v:54:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11166-017-9259-x is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Tomas Sjöström & Levent Ülkü & Radovan Vadovic, 2017. "Free to Choose: Testing the Pure Motivation Effect of Autonomous Choice," Carleton Economic Papers 17-11, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
    6. Silvia Dominguez Martinez & Randolph Sloof, 2016. "Communication versus (Restricted) Delegation: An Experimental Comparison," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 16-050/VII, Tinbergen Institute.
    7. Björn Bartling & Ernst Fehr & Holger Herz, 2014. "The Intrinsic Value of Decision Rights," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82, pages 2005-2039, November.
    8. repec:kap:expeco:v:20:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10683-016-9499-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Danz, David & Hüber, Frank & Kübler, Dorothea & Mechtenberg, Lydia & Schmid, Julia, 2013. "'I'll do it by myself as I knew it all along': On the failure of hindsight-biased principals to delegate optimally," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2013-203, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    10. Randolph Sloof & Ferdinand A. Siemens, 2017. "Illusion of control and the pursuit of authority," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 20(3), pages 556-573, September.
    11. Joao V. Ferreira & Nobuyuki Hanaki & Benoît Tarroux, 2017. "On the Roots of the Intrinsic Value of Decision Rights: Evidence from France and Japan," GREDEG Working Papers 2017-29, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.
    12. Afzal, Uzma & d Adda, Giovanna & Fafchamps, Marcel & Said, Farah, 2016. "Gender and Agency within the Household: Experimental Evidence from Pakistan," CEPR Discussion Papers 11464, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Randolph Sloof & Ferdinand von Siemens, 2015. "Decision Initiation, Decision Implementation, and the Allocation of Decision Rights," CESifo Working Paper Series 5509, CESifo Group Munich.
    14. Dominguez-Martinez, Silvia & Sloof, Randolph & von Siemens, Ferdinand A., 2014. "Monitored by your friends, not your foes: Strategic ignorance and the delegation of real authority," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 289-305.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social and Behavioral Sciences; experiment; principal-agent; overconfidence; control premium; desire for control; control; Delegation;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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