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Searching for a better deal ? On the influence of group decision making, time pressure and gender in a search experiment

  • Marcela Ibanez


  • Simon Czermak


  • Matthias Sutter


We study behavior in a search experiment where sellers receive randomized bids from a computer. At any time, sellers can accept the highest standing bid or ask for another bid at positive costs. We find that sellers stop searching earlier than theoretically optimal. Inducing a mild form of time pressure strengthens this finding in the early periods. There are marked gender differences. Men search significantly shorter than women. If subjects search in groups of two subjects, there is no difference to individual search, but teams of two women search much longer than men and recall more frequently.

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Paper provided by Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck in its series Working Papers with number 2008-05.

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Handle: RePEc:inn:wpaper:2008-05
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  1. Rami Zwick & Amnon Rapoport & Alison King Chung Lo & A. V. Muthukrishnan, 2003. "Consumer Sequential Search: Not Enough or Too Much?," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 22(4), pages 503-519, October.
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  3. Schunk, Daniel & Winter, Joachim, 2009. "The relationship between risk attitudes and heuristics in search tasks: A laboratory experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 347-360, August.
  4. Dufwenberg, Martin & Muren, Astri, 2006. "Gender composition in teams," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 50-54, September.
  5. Gary Bornstein & Matthias Sutter & Tamar Kugler & Martin G. Kocher, . "Trust between individuals and groups: Groups are less rusting than individuals but just as trustworthy," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2005-02, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  6. Kocher, Martin G. & Pahlke, Julius & Trautmann, Stefan T., 2011. "Tempus Fugit: Time Pressure in Risky Decisions," Discussion Papers in Economics 12221, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  7. Ariel Rubinstein, 2006. "Instinctive and Cognitive Reasoning: A Study of Response Times," Discussion Papers 1424, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  8. Hey, John D., 1982. "Search for rules for search," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 65-81, March.
  9. Martin G. Kocher & Matthias Sutter, 2004. "Time is money - Time pressure, incentives, and the quality of decision-making," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2004-05, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
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  11. Luhan, W.J. & Kocher, Martin G. & Sutter, Matthias, 2009. "Group polarization in the team dictator game reconsidered," Munich Reprints in Economics 18216, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  12. Gary Bornstein & Ilan Yaniv, 1998. "Individual and Group Behavior in the Ultimatum Game: Are Groups More “Rational†Players?," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 101-108, June.
  13. Bone, John & Hey, John & Suckling, John, 1999. "Are Groups More (or Less) Consistent Than Individuals?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 63-81, April.
  14. Sutter, Matthias & Kocher, Martin & Strau[ss], Sabine, 2003. "Bargaining under time pressure in an experimental ultimatum game," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 341-347, December.
  15. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  16. Kogut, Carl A., 1992. "Recall in consumer search," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 141-151, January.
  17. Liran Einav, 2005. "Informational Asymmetries and Observational Learning in Search," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 241-259, May.
  18. Sonnemans, Joep, 1998. "Strategies of search," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 309-332, April.
  19. Renate Schubert, 1999. "Financial Decision-Making: Are Women Really More Risk-Averse?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 381-385, May.
  20. Gary Charness & Edi Karni & Dan Levin, 2007. "Individual and group decision making under risk: An experimental study of Bayesian updating and violations of first-order stochastic dominance," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 129-148, October.
  21. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "Differences in the Economic Decisions of Men and Women: Experimental Evidence," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
  22. Harrison, Glenn W & Morgan, Peter, 1990. "Search Intensity in Experiments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 478-86, June.
  23. Cox, James C & Oaxaca, Ronald L, 1992. "Direct Tests of the Reservation Wage Property," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(415), pages 1423-32, November.
  24. David J. Cooper & John H. Kagel, 2005. "Are Two Heads Better Than One? Team versus Individual Play in Signaling Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 477-509, June.
  25. Schotter, Andrew & Braunstein, Yale M, 1981. "Economic Search: An Experimental Study," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 19(1), pages 1-25, January.
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