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Attachment or Ownership: Reference Point Shifts and an Experimental Test of Attachment

  • Makoto Nakada

    (Hitotsubashi University)

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    This paper suggests a hypothesis that feelings of attachment change subjective valuation through reference point shifts. This attachment hypothesis can explain seemingly contradictory results of recent experiments concerning what are called endowment effects, in which there exists disparities of valuation between owners and nonowners. That is, individuals who are attached to a good value it highly. We propose a model of value function that illustrates the attachment hypothesis. In this model, feelings of attachment shift the reference point. In addition, we test the effect of attachment on subjective valuation by experimentally controlling attachment, using a psychological method called priming manipulation.

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    File URL: http://ies.keio.ac.jp/old_project/old/gcoe-econbus/pdf/dp/DP2012-012.pdf
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    Paper provided by Keio/Kyoto Joint Global COE Program in its series Keio/Kyoto Joint Global COE Discussion Paper Series with number 2012-012.

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    Length: 29 pages
    Date of creation: Jun 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:kei:dpaper:2012-012
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    Web page: http://ies.keio.ac.jp/old_project/old/gcoe-econbus/

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    1. Knetsch, Jack L. & Wong, Wei-Kang, 2009. "The endowment effect and the reference state: Evidence and manipulations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 407-413, August.
    2. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
    3. John A. List, 2003. "Does Market Experience Eliminate Market Anomalies?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 41-71, February.
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