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Ignorance is bliss: a game of regret

Author

Listed:
  • Claudia Cerrone

    () (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)

  • Francesco Feri

    () (Royal Holloway, Department of Economics)

  • Philip R. Neary

    () (Royal Holloway, Department of Economics)

Abstract

Existing models of regret aversion assume that individuals can make an ex-post comparison between their choice and a foregone alternative. Yet in many situations such a comparison can be made only if someone else chose the alternative option. We develop a model where regret-averse agents must decide between the status quo and a new risky option that outperforms the status quo in expectation, and learn the outcome of the risky option, if unchosen, with a probability that depends on the choices of others. This turns what was previously a series of single-person decision problems into a coordination game. Most notably, regret can facilitate coordination on the status quo { an action that would not be observed if the agents were acting in isolation or had standard preferences. We experimentally test the model and find that regret-averse agents behave as predicted by our theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Claudia Cerrone & Francesco Feri & Philip R. Neary, 2019. "Ignorance is bliss: a game of regret," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2019_10, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  • Handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2019_10
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    regret aversion; coordination games; information;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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