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Reference Points and Effort Provision

  • Abeler, Johannes
  • Falk, Armin
  • Götte, Lorenz
  • Huffman, David

A key open question for theories of reference-dependent references is what determines the reference point. One candidate is expectations: what people expect could affect how they feel about what actually occurs. In a real-effort experiment, we manipulate the rational expectations of subjects and check whether this manipulation influences their effort provision. We find that effort provision is significantly different between treatments in the way predicted by models of expectation-based reference-dependent preferences: if expectations are high, subjects work longer and earn more money than if expectations are low.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7221.

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Date of creation: Mar 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7221
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