IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/huj/dispap/dp373.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Loss Aversion and Status-Quo Label Bias

Author

Listed:
  • Avital Moshinsky
  • Maya Bar-Hillel

Abstract

It has been noted and demonstrated that people are reluctant to make changes in their current state (called the status quo bias, Samuelson & Zeckhauser, 1988), and to trade objects they own (called the endowment effect, Thaler, 1980). This reluctance has been explained by a combination of loss aversion and reference dependence which causes the status quo to appear better than its alternative, ceteris paribus. In the present study, respondents were asked to rate the attractiveness of various policies, and to list their pros and cons. We find that just labeling some state of affairs status quo enhances its rating (which we call the status quo label bias); namely, a policy seemed more attractive to respondents who thought it is the status quo than to those who did not. An analysis of the listed pros and cons provides evidence that a model of the balance of a policy's pros and cons is a good predictor of that policy's attractiveness. Rendering the pros and cons in terms of losses and gains provides evidence that losses do, indeed, loom larger than gains. When put together, our results provide an empirical grounding for the loss aversion explanation of the status quo bias.

Suggested Citation

  • Avital Moshinsky & Maya Bar-Hillel, 2004. "Loss Aversion and Status-Quo Label Bias," Discussion Paper Series dp373, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, revised Apr 2007.
  • Handle: RePEc:huj:dispap:dp373
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ratio.huji.ac.il/sites/default/files/publications/SQLB-373.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    3. Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. "Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
    4. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1325-1348, December.
    5. Daniel Kahneman & Jack L. Knetsch & Richard H. Thaler, 1991. "Anomalies: The Endowment Effect, Loss Aversion, and Status Quo Bias," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 193-206, Winter.
    6. Strahilevitz, Michal A & Loewenstein, George, 1998. " The Effect of Ownership History on the Valuation of Objects," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(3), pages 276-289, December.
    7. Baron, Jonathan & Ritov, Ilana, 1994. "Reference Points and Omission Bias," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 475-498, September.
    8. Ritov, Ilana & Baron, Jonathan, 1992. "Status-Quo and Omission Biases," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 49-61, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:huj:dispap:dp373. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael Simkin). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/crihuil.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.