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A Test for Anchoring and Yea-Saying in Experimental Consumption Data

  • Arthur van Soest
  • Michael Hurd

In the experimental module of the AHEAD 1995 data, the sample is randomly split into respondents who get an open-ended question on the amount of total family consumption - with follow-up unfolding brackets (of the form: is consumption $X or more?) for those who answer don't know' or refuse' - and respondents who are immediately directed to unfolding brackets. In both cases, the entry point of the unfolding bracket sequence is randomized. These data are used to develop a nonparametric test for whether people make mistakes in answering the first bracket question, allowing for any type of selection into answering the open-ended question or not. Two well-known types of mistakes are considered: anchoring and yea-saying (or acquiescence). While the literature provides ample evidence that the entry point in the first bracket question serves as an anchor for follow-up bracket questions, it is less clear whether the answers to the first bracket question are already affected by anchoring. We reject the joint hypothesis of no anchoring and no yea-saying at the entry point. Once yea-saying is taken into account

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10462.

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Date of creation: May 2004
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Publication status: published as van Soest, Arthur & Hurd, Michael, 2008. "A Test for Anchoring and Yea-Saying in Experimental Consumption Data," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103, pages 126-136, March.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10462
Note: AG
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  1. Michael D. Hurd, 1999. "Anchoring and Acquiescence Bias in Measuring Assets in Households Surveys," Working Papers 99-02, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  2. Michael D. Hurd & Daniel McFadden & Harish Chand & Li Gan & Angela Menill & Michael Roberts, 1998. "Consumption and Savings Balances of the Elderly: Experimental Evidence on Survey Response Bias," NBER Chapters, in: Frontiers in the Economics of Aging, pages 353-392 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. Kevin J. Boyle & Hugh F. MacDonald & Hsiang-tai Cheng & Daniel W. McCollum, 1998. "Bid Design and Yea Saying in Single-Bounded, Dichotomous-Choice Questions," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 74(1), pages 49-64.
  13. Manski, C.F., 1990. "The Selection Problem," Working papers 90-12, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
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  15. Guido Imbens & Charles F. Manski, 2003. "Confidence intervals for partially identified parameters," CeMMAP working papers CWP09/03, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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