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Hedonic preferences, symmetric loss aversion and the willingness to pay-willingness to accept gap

  • Fosgerau, Mogens

The results in this paper are relevant for the application of valuation studies in cost-benefit analysis in the presence of the willingness to pay - willingness to accept gap. We consider a consumer who makes choices based on choice preferences exhibiting reference-dependence and loss aversion. Choice preferences are related to underlying hedonic preferences through the marginal rates of substitution (MRS) at the reference. Our issue is the identification of hedonic preferences relevant to welfare economic analysis. We show that the hedonic MRS is identified from reference-dependent choices if loss aversion exhibits a certain symmetry. Moreover, we show that this symmetry is rational in the sense that it leads to maximal expected hedonic utility when choices are made under reference-dependent choice preferences.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 10041.

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Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:10041
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  1. De Borger, Bruno & Fosgerau, Mogens, 2008. "The trade-off between money and travel time: A test of the theory of reference-dependent preferences," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 101-115, July.
  2. 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.
  3. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2005. "Behavioral Public Economics: Welfare and Policy Analysis with Non-Standard Decision-Makers," NBER Working Papers 11518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. John A. List, 2003. "Neoclassical Theory Versus Prospect Theory: Evidence from the Marketplace," NBER Working Papers 9736, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Daniel Kahneman & Robert Sugden, 2005. "Experienced Utility as a Standard of Policy Evaluation," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 32(1), pages 161-181, 09.
  7. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  8. W. Pesendorfer & F. Gul, 1999. "Temptation and Self-Control," Princeton Economic Theory Papers 99f1, Economics Department, Princeton University.
  9. Horowitz, John K. & McConnell, K. E., 2003. "Willingness to accept, willingness to pay and the income effect," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 537-545, August.
  10. W. Pesendorfer & F. Gul, 1999. "Self-Control and the Theory of Consumption," Princeton Economic Theory Papers 99f2, Economics Department, Princeton University.
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