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Psychology and the Market

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  • Edward L. Glaeser

Abstract

Prospect theory, loss aversion, mental accounts, hyperbolic discounting, cues, and the endowment effect can all be seen as examples of situationalism— the view that people isolate decisions and overweight immediate aspects of the situation relative to longer term concerns. But outside of the laboratory, emotionally-powerful situational factors— frames, social influence, mental accounts— are almost always endogenous and often the result of self-interested entrepreneurs. As such, laboratory work and, indeed, psychology more generally, gives us little guidance as to market outcomes. Economics provides a stronger basis for understanding the supply of emotionally-relevant situational variables. Paradoxically, the rise of situationalism actually increases the relative importance of economics.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward L. Glaeser, 2003. "Psychology and the Market," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2023, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:harver:2023
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    File URL: http://www.economics.harvard.edu/pub/hier/2003/HIER2023.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Malmendier, Ulrike M. & Shanthikumar, Devin, 2004. "Are Investors Naive about Incentives?," Research Papers 1867, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    2. Matthew A. Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2004. "Media, Education and Anti-Americanism in the Muslim World," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 117-133, Summer.
    3. Adams, Renée B. & Ferreira, Daniel, 2008. "Do directors perform for pay?," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 154-171, September.
    4. Franziska Rischkowsky & Thomas Döring, 2008. "Consumer Policy in a Market Economy Considerations from the Perspective of the Economics of Information, the New Institutional Economics as well as Behavioural Economics," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 285-313, September.

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