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A Study of Consumer Behavior Using Laboratory Data

Author

Listed:
  • Philippe Fevrier

    (CREST - LEI)

  • Michael Visser

    (CREST-LEI)

Abstract

This paper reports the results of an experiment on individual consumer behavior. The experiment was designed to address the following questions. Do participants behave as utility-maximizing agents? Are there variables (socio-economic characteristics, experimental conditions) that have an effect on the probability of being non-rational? And finally, to what extent does the presence of non-rational individuals affect the estimation results of demand equations? Revealed preference tests indicate that 29% of the individuals do not behave as utility-maximizing agents. Gender and the times spent on performing experimental tasks have a significant effect on the likelihood of being non-rational, but the level of remuneration does not. The estimation results of some commonly used demand systems and tests of the Slutsky restrictions are affected by the presence of non-rational individuals in the experimental sample.

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe Fevrier & Michael Visser, 2000. "A Study of Consumer Behavior Using Laboratory Data," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1095, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:wc2000:1095
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Varian, Hal R, 1982. "The Nonparametric Approach to Demand Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 945-973, July.
    2. Hal R. Varian, 1983. "Non-parametric Tests of Consumer Behaviour," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(1), pages 99-110.
    3. Philippe Février & Michael Visser, 2004. "A Study of Consumer Behavior Using Laboratory Data," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 7(1), pages 93-114, February.
    4. Blundell, Richard & Pashardes, Panos & Weber, Guglielmo, 1993. "What Do We Learn About Consumer Demand Patterns from Micro Data?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 570-597, June.
    5. Raymond Battalio & Leonard Green & John Kagel, 1995. "Economic choice theory. an experimental analysis of animal behavior," Framed Field Experiments 00166, The Field Experiments Website.
    6. Sippel, Reinhard, 1997. "An Experiment on the Pure Theory of Consumer's Behaviour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(444), pages 1431-1444, September.
    7. Battalio, Raymond C & Dwyer, Gerald P, Jr & Kagel, John H, 1987. "Tests of Competing Theories of Consumer Choice and the Representative Consumer Hypothesis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(388), pages 842-856, December.
    8. Varian, Hal R., 1988. "Revealed preference with a subset of goods," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 179-185, October.
    9. Cox, James C, 1997. "On Testing the Utility Hypothesis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1054-1078, July.
    10. Reinhard Sippel, 1996. "A Note on the Power of Revealed Preference Tests with Afriat Inefficiency," Discussion Paper Serie A 303 DP No. A--528, University of Bonn, Germany.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sam Cosaert & Thomas Demuynck, 2015. "Revealed preference theory for finite choice sets," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 59(1), pages 169-200, May.
    2. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2006. "Two-stage Boundedly Rational Choice Procedures: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 561, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    3. Philippe Février & Michael Visser, 2004. "A Study of Consumer Behavior Using Laboratory Data," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 7(1), pages 93-114, February.
    4. Cox, James C., 2010. "Some issues of methods, theories, and experimental designs," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 24-28, January.
    5. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00449463 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Marc-Arthur Diaye & François Gardes & Christophe Starzec, 2009. "GARP violation, economic environment distortions and shadow prices: Evidence from household expenditure panel data," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 09020, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    7. Douglas D. Davis & Edward L. Millner, 2005. "Rebates, Matches, and Consumer Behavior," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 410-421, October.
    8. Forges, Françoise & Iehlé, Vincent, 2014. "Afriat’s theorem for indivisible goods," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 1-6.
    9. Daniel John Zizzo & Melanie Parravano & Ryota Nakamura & Suzanna Forwood & Marc Suhrcke, 2016. "The impact of taxation and signposting on diet: an online field study with breakfast cereals and soft drinks," Working Papers 131cherp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
    10. repec:eee:jetheo:v:169:y:2017:i:c:p:546-550 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Andreoni,J. & Harbaugh,W.T., 2005. "Power indices for revealed preference tests," Working papers 10, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    12. Marc-Arthur Diaye & Michal Wong-Urdanivia, 2005. "A simple test of Richter-rationality," Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques b06008, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
    13. Heufer, Jan, 2014. "Nonparametric comparative revealed risk aversion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 569-616.
    14. Moscati, Ivan & Tubaro, Paola, 2009. "Random behavior and the as-if defense of rational choice theory in demand experiments," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 27001, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    15. repec:spr:infosf:v:8:y:2006:i:5:d:10.1007_s10796-006-9013-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Pires Gonçalves, Ricardo, 2008. "Consumer Behavior: Product Characteristics and Quality Perception," MPRA Paper 11142, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Brocas, Isabelle & Carrillo, Juan D & Combs, T. Dalton & Kodaverdian, Niree, 2015. "Consistency in Simple vs. Complex Choices over the Life Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 10457, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. Jan Heufer & Paul van Bruggen, 2016. "Afriat in the Lab," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 16-095/I, Tinbergen Institute.

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