IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Loss Aversion and Rent-Seeking: An Experimental Study


  • Xiaojing Kong


We report an experiment designed to evaluate the impact of loss aversion on rent-seeking contests. We find, as theoretically predicted, a negative relationship between rent-seeking expenditures and loss aversion. However, for any degree of loss aversion, levels of rent-seeking expenditure are higher than predicted. Moreover, we find that the effect of loss aversion becomes weaker with repetition of the contest.

Suggested Citation

  • Xiaojing Kong, 2008. "Loss Aversion and Rent-Seeking: An Experimental Study," Discussion Papers 2008-13, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  • Handle: RePEc:not:notcdx:2008-13

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Shupp, Robert & Sheremeta, Roman M. & Schmidt, David & Walker, James, 2013. "Resource allocation contests: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 257-267.
    2. Douglas Davis & Robert Reilly, 1998. "Do too many cooks always spoil the stew? An experimental analysis of rent-seeking and the role of a strategic buyer," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(1), pages 89-115, April.
    3. Potters, Jan & de Vries, Casper G. & van Winden, Frans, 1998. "An experimental examination of rational rent-seeking," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 783-800, November.
    4. John A. List, 2003. "Does Market Experience Eliminate Market Anomalies?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 41-71.
    5. Hehenkamp, B. & Leininger, W. & Possajennikov, A., 2004. "Evolutionary equilibrium in Tullock contests: spite and overdissipation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 1045-1057, November.
    6. Edward Millner & Michael Pratt, 1989. "An experimental investigation of efficient rent-seeking," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 62(2), pages 139-151, August.
    7. Krueger, Anne O, 1974. "The Political Economy of the Rent-Seeking Society," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(3), pages 291-303, June.
    8. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    9. 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.
    10. Millner, Edward L & Pratt, Michael D, 1991. "Risk Aversion and Rent-Seeking: An Extension and Some Experimental Evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 69(1), pages 81-92, February.
    11. Hanemann, W Michael, 1991. "Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Accept: How Much Can They Differ?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 635-647, June.
    12. Shogren, Jason F & Baik, Kyung H, 1991. "Reexamining Efficient Rent-Seeking in Laboratory Markets," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 69(1), pages 69-79, February.
    13. Nitzan, Shmuel, 1994. "Modelling rent-seeking contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 41-60, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Faravelli, Marco & Stanca, Luca, 2012. "When less is more: Rationing and rent dissipation in stochastic contests," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 170-183.
    2. repec:eee:jeborg:v:142:y:2017:i:c:p:120-139 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Roman M. Sheremeta, 2013. "Overbidding And Heterogeneous Behavior In Contest Experiments," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 491-514, July.
    4. David Kelsey & Tigran Melkonyan, 2014. "Contests with Ambiguity," Discussion Papers 1411, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
    5. Subhasish M. Chowdhury & Joo Young Jeon & Abhijit Ramalingam, 2016. "Property rights and loss aversion in contests," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 16-14, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    6. Chowdhury, Subhasish M. & Sheremeta, Roman M. & Turocy, Theodore L., 2014. "Overbidding and overspreading in rent-seeking experiments: Cost structure and prize allocation rules," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 224-238.
    7. Benedikt Herrmann & Henrik Orzen, 2008. "The appearance of homo rivalis: Social preferences and the nature of rent seeking," Discussion Papers 2008-10, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    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:not:notcdx:2008-13. 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: (Suzanne Robey). General contact details of provider: .

    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 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.

    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.