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Testing for Reference Dependence: An Application to the Art Market

  • Beggs, Alan
  • Graddy, Kathryn

This paper tests for reference dependence, using data from Impressionist and Contemporary Art auctions. We distinguish reference dependence based on ‘rule of thumb’ learning from reference dependence based on ‘rational’ learning. Furthermore, we distinguish pure reference dependence from effects due to loss aversion. Thus, we use actual market data to test essential characteristics of Kahneman and Tversky’s Prospect Theory. The main methodological innovations of this paper are firstly, that reference dependence can be identified separately from loss aversion. Secondly, we introduce a consistent non-linear estimator to deal with measurement errors problems involved in testing for loss aversion. In this dataset, we find strong reference dependence but no loss aversion.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4982.

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Date of creation: Apr 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4982
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  1. Kathryn Graddy & Orley Ashenfelter, 2002. "Auctions and the Price of Art," Economics Series Working Papers 131, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Nicholas Barberis & Ming Huang & Tano Santos, 1999. "Prospect Theory and Asset Prices," NBER Working Papers 7220, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Genesove, David & Mayer, Christopher, 2001. "Loss Aversion and Seller Behaviour: Evidence from the Housing Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 2813, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Bruno Jullien & Bernard Salanié, 1997. "Estimating Preferences under Risk : The Case of Racetrack Bettors," Working Papers 97-39, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  5. Donald W.K. Andrews & Werner Ploberger, 1992. "Optimal Tests When a Nuisance Parameter Is Present Only Under the Alternative," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1015, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  6. Beggs, A. & Graddy, K., 1996. "Declining Values and the Afternoon Effect: Evidence from Art Auctions," Economics Series Working Papers 99184, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  7. Susanne M. Schennach, 2004. "Estimation of Nonlinear Models with Measurement Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 33-75, 01.
  8. Victor Ginsburgh & Pierre-Michel Menger, 1996. "Economics of the Arts: Selected essays," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/152420, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  9. Jianping Mei & Michael Moses, 2002. "Art as an Investment and the Underperformance of Masterpieces," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1656-1668, December.
  10. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  11. Whitney K. Newey, 2001. "Flexible Simulated Moment Estimation Of Nonlinear Errors-In-Variables Models," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 616-627, November.
  12. Robert B. Davies, 2002. "Hypothesis testing when a nuisance parameter is present only under the alternative: Linear model case," Biometrika, Biometrika Trust, vol. 89(2), pages 484-489, June.
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