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Subjective beliefs formation and elicitation rules : experimental evidence

  • Guillaume Hollard

    ()

    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)

  • Sébastien Massoni

    ()

    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne)

  • Jean-Christophe Vergnaud

    ()

    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne)

Since they have been increasingly used in economics, elicitation rules for subjective beliefs are under scrutiny. In this paper, we propose an experimental design to compare the performance of such rules. Contrary to previous works in which elicited beliefs are compared to an objective benchmark, we consider a pure subjective belief framework (confidence in own performance in a cognitive task and a perceptual task). The performances of elicitation rules are assessed according to the accuracy of stated beliefs in predicting success. For the perceptual task we also compare stated beliefs to Signal Detection Theory predictions. We find consistent evidence in favor of the Lottery Rule which provides more accurate beliefs and is not sensitive to risk aversion. Furthermore the Free Rule, a simple rule with no incentives, elicits relevant beliefs and even outperforms the Quadratic Scoring Rule. Beside this comparison, we propose a belief formation model where we distinguish between two stages in the beliefs : beliefs for decision making and confidence beliefs. Our results give support to this model.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) with number halshs-00543828.

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Date of creation: Nov 2010
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Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00543828
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