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“At least I didn’t lose money” Nominal Loss Aversion Shapes Evaluations of Housing Transactions

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  • Stephens, Thomas A
  • Tyran, Jean-Robert

Abstract

Loss aversion is one of the most robust findings to have emerged from behavioral economics. Surprisingly little attention, however, has been devoted to nominal loss aversion, the interaction of loss aversion and money illusion. People tend to think of transactions in terms of their nominal (monetary) values. Real losses may therefore loom larger in people’s minds when they lose money than when real losses are hidden by purely nominal gains. Using a survey experiment with a large and heterogeneous sample, we show that evaluations of housing transactions are systematically biased by purely nominal gains versus losses.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephens, Thomas A & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2012. "“At least I didn’t lose money” Nominal Loss Aversion Shapes Evaluations of Housing Transactions," CEPR Discussion Papers 9198, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9198
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    Cited by:

    1. Güth, Werner & Koukoumelis, Anastasios & Levati, M. Vittoria & Ploner, Matteo, 2014. "Providing revenue-generating projects under a fair mechanism: An experimental analysis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 410-419.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    bounded rationality; housing transactions; loss aversion; money illusion;

    JEL classification:

    • A10 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - General
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D00 - Microeconomics - - General - - - General

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