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Buying and Selling Risk - An Experiment Investigating Evaluation Asymmetries


  • Werner Güth

    () (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group)

  • Matteo Ploner

    () (DEM-University of Trento)

  • Ivan Soraperra

    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group)


Experimental studies of the WTP-WTA gap avoid social trading by implementing an incentive compatible mechanism for each individual trader. We compare a traditional random price mechanism and a novel elicitation mechanism preserving social trading, without sacrificing mutual incentive compatibility. Furthermore, we focus on risky goods - binary monetary lotteries - for which asymmetries in evaluations are more robust with respect to experimental procedures. For both elicitation mechanisms, the usual asymmetry in evaluation by sellers and buyers is observed. An econometric estimation sheds new light on its causes: potential buyers are over-pessimistic and systematically underweight the probability of a good outcome.

Suggested Citation

  • Werner Güth & Matteo Ploner & Ivan Soraperra, 2013. "Buying and Selling Risk - An Experiment Investigating Evaluation Asymmetries," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-047, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2013-047

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    More about this item


    WTP-WTA gap; Risk; Elicitation Mechanisms; Probability Weighting;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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