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How Field Experiments in Economics Can Complement Psychological Research on Judgment Biases

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  • John List

Abstract

This review summarizes results of field experiments examining individual behaviors across several market settings from - open-air markets to rideshare markets to tax-compliance markets - where people sort themselves into market roles wherein they make consequential decisions. Using three distinct examples from my own research on the endowment effect, left-digit bias, and omission bias, I showcase how field experiments can help researchers understand mediators, heterogeneity, and causal moderation involved in judgment biases in the field. In this manner, the review highlights that economic field experiments can serve an invaluable intellectual role alongside traditional laboratory research.

Suggested Citation

  • John List, 2021. "How Field Experiments in Economics Can Complement Psychological Research on Judgment Biases," Natural Field Experiments 00738, The Field Experiments Website.
  • Handle: RePEc:feb:natura:00738
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Justin E. Holz & John A. List & Alejandro Zentner & Marvin Cardoza & Joaquin Zentner, 2020. "The $100 Million Nudge: Increasing Tax Compliance of Businesses and the Self-Employed using a Natural Field Experiment," Working Papers 2020-113, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    2. Jack L. Knetsch & J. A. Sinden, 1984. "Willingness to Pay and Compensation Demanded: Experimental Evidence of an Unexpected Disparity in Measures of Value," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(3), pages 507-521.
    3. John List, 2020. "Experimental tests of the endowment effect and the Coase theorem," Natural Field Experiments 00687, The Field Experiments Website.
    4. John A. List, 2011. "Does Market Experience Eliminate Market Anomalies? The Case of Exogenous Market Experience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 313-317, May.
    5. Santosh Anagol & Vimal Balasubramaniam & Tarun Ramadorai, 2018. "Endowment Effects in the Field: Evidence from India’s IPO Lotteries," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 85(4), pages 1971-2004.
    6. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
    7. Michael S. Haigh & John A. List, 2005. "Do Professional Traders Exhibit Myopic Loss Aversion? An Experimental Analysis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(1), pages 523-534, February.
    8. Michael Hallsworth & John A. List & Robert D. Metcalfe & Ivo Vlaev, 2015. "The Making of Homo Honoratus: From Omission to Commission," NBER Working Papers 21210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Knetsch, Jack L, 1989. "The Endowment Effect and Evidence of Nonreversible Indifference Curves," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1277-1284, December.
    10. John A. List, 2020. "Non est Disputandum de Generalizability? A Glimpse into The External Validity Trial," NBER Working Papers 27535, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Greer K. Gosnell & John A. List & Robert D. Metcalfe, 2020. "The Impact of Management Practices on Employee Productivity: A Field Experiment with Airline Captains," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 128(4), pages 1195-1233.
    12. Baron, Jonathan & Ritov, Ilana, 2004. "Omission bias, individual differences, and normality," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 74-85, July.
    13. Paul T E Cusack, 2020. "The Human Brain," Biomedical Journal of Scientific & Technical Research, Biomedical Research Network+, LLC, vol. 31(3), pages 24261-24266, October.
    14. John A. List, 2003. "Does Market Experience Eliminate Market Anomalies?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 41-71.
    15. John A. List, 2004. "Neoclassical Theory Versus Prospect Theory: Evidence from the Marketplace," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(2), pages 615-625, March.
    16. John A. List, 2004. "The Nature and Extent of Discrimination in the Marketplace: Evidence from the Field," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 49-89.
    17. repec:feb:artefa:0087 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Levitt, Steven D. & List, John A., 2009. "Field experiments in economics: The past, the present, and the future," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 1-18, January.
    19. Lindsay, Luke, 2019. "Adaptive loss aversion and market experience," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 168(C), pages 43-61.
    20. Eszter Czibor & David Jimenez‐Gomez & John A. List, 2019. "The Dozen Things Experimental Economists Should Do (More of)," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 86(2), pages 371-432, October.
    21. Thaler, Richard, 1980. "Toward a positive theory of consumer choice," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 39-60, March.
    22. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
    23. Fraser-Mackenzie, P. & Sung, M. & Johnson, J.E.V., 2015. "The prospect of a perfect ending: Loss aversion and the round-number bias," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 67-80.
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