IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/pra/mprapa/48074.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Being in the Right Place: A Natural Field Experiment on List Position and Consumer Choice

Author

Listed:
  • Novarese, Marco
  • Wilson, Chris M.

Abstract

By randomising the order in which new economics research papers are presented in email alerts and tracking economists’ subsequent download activity, this paper uses a natural field experiment to better understand the reasons why individuals show a disproportionate tendency to select items listed in top position. Using a novel method, the paper tests and rejects three common explanations regarding item order, choice fatigue and position as a quality signal. The paper then further demonstrates how the causes of top position effects vary significantly with list length, and points to some alternative explanations.

Suggested Citation

  • Novarese, Marco & Wilson, Chris M., 2013. "Being in the Right Place: A Natural Field Experiment on List Position and Consumer Choice," MPRA Paper 48074, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:48074
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/48074/1/MPRA_paper_48074.pdf
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Tom Coupé & Victor Ginsburgh & Abdul Noury, 2010. "Are leading papers of better quality? Evidence from a natural experiment," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(1), pages 1-11, January.
    2. Michael R. Baye & J. Rupert J. Gatti & Paul Kattuman & John Morgan, 2009. "Clicks, Discontinuities, and Firm Demand Online," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(4), pages 935-975, December.
    3. Marco Haan & S. Dijkstra & Peter Dijkstra, 2005. "Expert Judgment Versus Public Opinion – Evidence from the Eurovision Song Contest," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 29(1), pages 59-78, February.
    4. Mark Armstrong & John Vickers & Jidong Zhou, 2009. "Prominence and consumer search," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(2), pages 209-233.
    5. Victor A. Ginsburgh & Jan C. van Ours, 2003. "Expert Opinion and Compensation: Evidence from a Musical Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 289-296, March.
    6. Amy King & Andrew Leigh, 2009. "Are Ballot Order Effects Heterogeneous?," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 90(1), pages 71-87.
    7. Jonathan Levav & Mark Heitmann & Andreas Herrmann & Sheena S. Iyengar, 2010. "Order in Product Customization Decisions: Evidence from Field Experiments," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(2), pages 274-299, April.
    8. Michael D. Smith & Erik Brynjolfsson, 2001. "Consumer Decision-making at an Internet Shopbot: Brand Still Matters," NBER Chapters,in: E-commerce, pages 541-558 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Baye, Michael R. & De los Santos, Babur & Wildenbeest, Matthijs R., 2016. "What’s in a name? Measuring prominence and its impact on organic traffic from search engines," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 44-57.
    10. Anindya Ghose & Sha Yang, 2007. "An Empirical Analysis of Search Engine Advertising: Sponsored Search and Cross-Selling in Electronic Markets," Working Papers 07-35, NET Institute, revised Sep 2007.
    11. Batiz-Lazo, Bernardo & Krichel, Thomas, 2010. "The creation of internet communities: A brief history of on-line distribution of working papers through NEP, 1998-2010," MPRA Paper 27085, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Elena Reutskaja & Rosemarie Nagel & Colin F. Camerer & Antonio Rangel, 2011. "Search Dynamics in Consumer Choice under Time Pressure: An Eye-Tracking Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 900-926, April.
    13. Yuval Salant, 2011. "Procedural Analysis of Choice Rules with Applications to Bounded Rationality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 724-748, April.
    14. Ryan C. McDevitt, 2014. ""A" Business by Any Other Name: Firm Name Choice as a Signal of Firm Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(4), pages 909-944.
    15. Anindya Ghose & Sha Yang, 2009. "An Empirical Analysis of Search Engine Advertising: Sponsored Search in Electronic Markets," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(10), pages 1605-1622, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Fabrizio Germano & Francesco Sobbrio, 2016. "Opinion dynamics via search engines (and other algorithmic gatekeepers)," Economics Working Papers 1552, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Mar 2018.
    2. Baye, Michael R. & De los Santos, Babur & Wildenbeest, Matthijs R., 2016. "What’s in a name? Measuring prominence and its impact on organic traffic from search engines," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 44-57.
    3. Daniel Feenberg & Ina Ganguli & Patrick Gaulé & Jonathan Gruber, 2017. "It’s Good to Be First: Order Bias in Reading and Citing NBER Working Papers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 99(1), pages 32-39, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Position Effects; Order Effects; Primacy Effects; Recency Effects; Choice Fatigue; Prominence;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • L0 - Industrial Organization - - General
    • L00 - Industrial Organization - - General - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Lists

    This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
    1. Papers using RePEc data

    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:pra:mprapa:48074. 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: (Joachim Winter). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/vfmunde.html .

    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.