IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nav/ecupna/'0402'.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

A Theory Of Reference-Dependent Beavior

Author

Abstract

There is extensive field and experimental evidence in a wide variety of environments showing that behavior depends on a reference point. This paper provides an axiomatic characterization for such behavior. Our approach is dual, we study choice behavior and preference relations. We proceed by gradually imposing more structure on behavior, requiring higher levels of rationality, that free the decision-maker from certain types of manipulations. Depending on the phenomena one wants to model, one degree of behavioral structure will be appropriate or another. We provide two applications of the theory: one to model the status-quo bias, and another to model addictive behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • José Apesteguía & Miguel A. Ballester, 2004. "A Theory Of Reference-Dependent Beavior," Documentos de Trabajo - Lan Gaiak Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra 0402, Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra.
  • Handle: RePEc:nav:ecupna:'0402'
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www2.unavarra.es/gesadj/depEconomia/repec/DocumentosTrab/DT0402.PDF
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jack L. Knetsch & J. A. Sinden, 1984. "Willingness to Pay and Compensation Demanded: Experimental Evidence of an Unexpected Disparity in Measures of Value," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(3), pages 507-521.
    2. Rubinstein, Ariel & Zhou, Lin, 1999. "Choice problems with a 'reference' point," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 205-209, May.
    3. Botond Kőszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2006. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1133-1165.
    4. Ian Bateman & Alistair Munro & Bruce Rhodes & Chris Starmer & Robert Sugden, 1997. "A Test of the Theory of Reference-Dependent Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 479-505.
    5. Knetsch, Jack L, 1989. "The Endowment Effect and Evidence of Nonreversible Indifference Curves," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1277-1284, December.
    6. Steffen Huck & Georg Kirchsteiger & Jörg Oechssler, 2005. "Learning to like what you have - explaining the endowment effect," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(505), pages 689-702, July.
    7. Walter Bossert & Yves Sprumont, 2009. "Non‐Deteriorating Choice," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(302), pages 337-363, April.
    8. Raphaël Giraud, 2012. "Money matters: an axiomatic theory of the endowment effect," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 50(2), pages 303-339, June.
    9. Tversky, Amos & Slovic, Paul & Kahneman, Daniel, 1990. "The Causes of Preference Reversal," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 204-217, March.
    10. Zinde-Walsh, Victoria, 1995. "ESTIMATION AND INFERENCE IN ECONOMETRICSRussell Davidson and James G. MacKinnon Oxford University Press, 1993," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(3), pages 631-635, June.
    11. Masatlioglu, Yusufcan & Ok, Efe A., 2005. "Rational choice with status quo bias," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 1-29, March.
    12. Sagi, Jacob S., 2006. "Anchored preference relations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 130(1), pages 283-295, September.
    13. Matthew Rabin, 1998. "Psychology and Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 11-46, March.
    14. Mandler, Michael, 2005. "Incomplete preferences and rational intransitivity of choice," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 255-277, February.
    15. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    16. Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. "Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
    17. Harl E. Ryder & Geoffrey M. Heal, 1973. "Optimal Growth with Intertemporally Dependent Preferences," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(1), pages 1-31.
    18. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1325-1348, December.
    19. Daniel Kahneman & Jack L. Knetsch & Richard H. Thaler, 1991. "Anomalies: The Endowment Effect, Loss Aversion, and Status Quo Bias," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 193-206, Winter.
    20. Raphaël Giraud, 2004. "Reference-dependent preferences: rationality, mechanism and welfare implications," Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques v04087, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
    21. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
    22. Sugden, Robert, 2003. "Reference-dependent subjective expected utility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 172-191, August.
    23. Munro, Alistair & Sugden, Robert, 2003. "On the theory of reference-dependent preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 407-428, April.
    24. Pollak, Robert A, 1970. "Habit Formation and Dynamic Demand Functions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(4), pages 745-763, Part I Ju.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Jacobs Martin, 2016. "Accounting for Changing Tastes: Approaches to Explaining Unstable Individual Preferences," Review of Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 67(2), pages 121-183, August.
    2. Astrid Matthey, 2005. "Getting Used to Risks: Reference Dependence and Risk Inclusion," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2005-036, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    3. Walter Bossert & Yves Sprumont, 2009. "Non‐Deteriorating Choice," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(302), pages 337-363, April.
    4. Andrea Isoni, 2011. "The willingness-to-accept/willingness-to-pay disparity in repeated markets: loss aversion or ‘bad-deal’ aversion?," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 71(3), pages 409-430, September.
    5. Raphaël Giraud, 2012. "Money matters: an axiomatic theory of the endowment effect," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 50(2), pages 303-339, June.
    6. Roee Teper, 2010. "Probabilistic Dominance and Status Quo Bias," Working Paper 5864, Department of Economics, University of Pittsburgh.
    7. Donald Wittman, 2008. "Is Status Quo Bias Consistent With Downward‐Sloping Demand?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(2), pages 283-288, April.
    8. Riella, Gil & Teper, Roee, 2014. "Probabilistic dominance and status quo bias," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 288-304.
    9. Botond Kőszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2006. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1133-1165.
    10. Ulrich Schmidt & Stefan Traub, 2009. "An Experimental Investigation of the Disparity Between WTA and WTP for Lotteries," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 66(3), pages 229-262, March.
    11. Masatlioglu, Yusufcan & Uler, Neslihan, 2013. "Understanding the reference effect," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 403-423.
    12. Gächter, Simon & Johnson, Eric J. & Herrmann, Andreas, 2007. "Individual-Level Loss Aversion in Riskless and Risky Choices," IZA Discussion Papers 2961, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. W. Viscusi & Joel Huber, 2012. "Reference-dependent valuations of risk: Why willingness-to-accept exceeds willingness-to-pay," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 19-44, February.
    14. Committee, Nobel Prize, 2017. "Richard H. Thaler: Integrating Economics with Psychology," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 2017-1, Nobel Prize Committee.
    15. Gächter, Simon & Johnson, Eric J. & Herrmann, Andreas, 2007. "Individual-Level Loss Aversion in Riskless and Risky Choices," IZA Discussion Papers 2961, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Pavlo Blavatskyy & Ganna Pogrebna, 2010. "Endowment effects? “Even” with half a million on the table!," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 68(1), pages 173-192, February.
    17. Tserenjigmid, Gerelt, 2019. "Choosing with the worst in mind: A reference-dependent model," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 631-652.
    18. Daniele Pennesi, 2013. "Endogenous Status Quo," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 314, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    19. Matthew Kovach & Elchin Suleymanov, 2021. "Reference Dependence and Random Attention," Papers 2106.13350, arXiv.org, revised Sep 2021.
    20. Ulrich Schmidt & Horst Zank, 2012. "A genuine foundation for prospect theory," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 97-113, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Individual rationality; reference-dependence; rationalization; path-independence; menu-independence; status-quo bias; addiction; habit formation.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nav:ecupna:'0402'. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://www.unavarra.es/departamento-economia .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Javier Puértolas (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.unavarra.es/departamento-economia .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.