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Preferences for Consistency

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  • Falk, Armin
  • Zimmermann, Florian

Abstract

This paper studies how a preference for consistency can affect economic decisionmaking. We propose a two-period model where people have a preference for consistency because consistent behavior allows them to signal personal and intellectual strength. We then present three experiments that study main predictions and implications of the model. The first is a simple principal-agent experiment that shows that consistency is valued by others and that this value is anticipated. The second experiment underlines the crucial role of early commitment for consistency preferences. Finally we show how preferences for consistency can be used to manipulate choices.

Suggested Citation

  • Falk, Armin & Zimmermann, Florian, 2011. "Preferences for Consistency," CEPR Discussion Papers 8519, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8519
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mara Ewers & Florian Zimmermann, 2015. "Image And Misreporting," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 363-380, April.
    2. van Veldhuizen, Roel, 2017. "Gender Differences in Tournament Choices: Risk Preferences, Overconfidence or Competitiveness?," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 14, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    3. Oxoby, Robert J. & Smith, Alexander, 2014. "Using Cognitive Dissonance to Manipulate Social Preferences," IZA Discussion Papers 8310, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Sebastian Goerg & Sebastian Kube, 2012. "Goals (th)at Work – Goals, Monetary Incentives, and Workers’ Performance," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2012_19, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    5. Dessi, Roberta & Monin, Benoît, 2012. "Noblesse Oblige? Moral Identity and Prosocial Behavior in the Face of Selfishness," TSE Working Papers 12-347, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    6. Gerrit Frackenpohl & Gert Pönitzsch, 2013. "Bundling Public with Private Goods," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse05_2013, University of Bonn, Germany.
    7. van Veldhuizen, Roel, 2016. "Gender differences in tournament choices: Risk preferences, overconfidence or competitiveness?," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2016-207, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    charitable giving; consistency preferences; early commitment; experiments; social influence;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers

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