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A value function that explains the magnitude and sign effects

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  • Ali al-Nowaihi

    ()

  • Sanjit Dhami

    ()

Abstract

Two of the anomalies of the exponentially discounted utility model are the 'magnitude effect' (larger magnitudes are discounted less) and the 'sign effect' (a loss is discounted less than a gain of the same magnitude). The literature has followed Loewenstein and Prelec (1992) in attributing the magnitude effect to the increasing elasticity of the value function and the sign effect to a higher elasticity for losses as compared to gains. We provide a simple, tractable, functional form that has these two properties, which we call the simple increasing elasticity value function (SIE). These functional forms underpin the main explanation of the magnitude and sign effects and may aid applications and further theoretical development.

Suggested Citation

  • Ali al-Nowaihi & Sanjit Dhami, 2008. "A value function that explains the magnitude and sign effects," Discussion Papers in Economics 08/31, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  • Handle: RePEc:lec:leecon:08/31
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Scholten, Marc & Read, Daniel, 2006. "Beyond discounting: the tradeoff model of intertemporal choice," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 22710, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Manzini Paola & Mariotti Marco, 2006. "A Vague Theory of Choice over Time," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-27, October.
    3. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. "Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
    4. Yoram Halevy, 2008. "Strotz Meets Allais: Diminishing Impatience and the Certainty Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 1145-1162, June.
    5. Thaler, Richard, 1981. "Some empirical evidence on dynamic inconsistency," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 201-207.
    6. Read, Daniel, 2001. "Is Time-Discounting Hyperbolic or Subadditive?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 5-32, July.
    7. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    8. Shane Frederick & George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue, 2002. "Time Discounting and Time Preference: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 351-401, June.
    9. George Loewenstein & Drazen Prelec, 1992. "Anomalies in Intertemporal Choice: Evidence and an Interpretation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 573-597.
    10. Marc Scholten & Daniel Read, 2006. "Discounting by Intervals: A Generalized Model of Intertemporal Choice," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(9), pages 1424-1436, September.
    11. repec:ubc:pmicro:halevy-04-10-29-10-08-43 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. David Laibson, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
    13. Ok, Efe A. & Masatlioglu, Yusufcan, 2007. "A theory of (relative) discounting," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 214-245, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ali al-Nowaihi & Sanjit Dhami, 2013. "A Theory of Reference Time," Discussion Papers in Economics 13/26, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
    2. Ali al-Nowaihi & Sanjit Dhami, 2018. "Foundations for Intertemporal Choice," CESifo Working Paper Series 6913, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Ali al-Nowaihi & Sanjit Dhami, 2013. "Foundations and Properties of Time Discount Functions," Discussion Papers in Economics 13/27, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
    4. Ali al-Nowaihi & Sanjit Dhami, 2008. "A general theory of time discounting: The reference-time theory of intertemporal choice," Discussion Papers in Economics 08/34, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
    5. Philip A. Horvath & Amit K. Sinha, 2017. "Asymmetric reaction is rational behavior," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 41(1), pages 160-179, January.
    6. Słomczyński, Wojciech & Życzkowski, Karol, 2012. "Mathematical aspects of degressive proportionality," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 94-101.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Anomalies of the exponentially discounted utility model; the magnitude effect; the sign effect; SIE value functions;

    JEL classification:

    • C60 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - General
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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