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A structural analysis of disappointment aversion in a real effort competition

  • Gill, David
  • Prowse, Victoria Liza

We develop a novel computerized real effort task, based on moving sliders across a screen, to test experimentally whether agents are disappointment averse when they compete in a real effort sequential-move tournament. Our theory predicts that a disappointment averse agent, who is loss averse around her endogenous expectations-based reference point, responds negatively to her rival’s effort. We find significant evidence for this discouragement effect, and use the Method of Simulated Moments to estimate the strength of disappointment aversion on average and the heterogeneity in disappointment aversion across the population.

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Paper provided by Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton in its series Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics with number 1006.

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Date of creation: 01 Mar 2010
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Handle: RePEc:stn:sotoec:1006
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  1. David Gill & Rebecca Stone, 2006. "Fairness and Desert in Tournaments," Economics Series Working Papers 279, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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  16. Frans van Dijk & Joep Sonnemans & Frans van Winden, 2000. "Incentive Systems in a Real Effort Experiment," CESifo Working Paper Series 272, CESifo Group Munich.
  17. van Dijk, W.W. & van der Pligt, J. & Zeelenberg, M., 1999. "Effort invested in vain : The impact of effort on the intensity of disappointment and regret," Other publications TiSEM 4746cce1-ce4d-4fea-b3c4-0, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  18. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. "Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
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  20. Keith M. Marzilli Ericson & Andreas Fuster, 2011. "Expectations as Endowments: Evidence on Reference-Dependent Preferences from Exchange and Valuation Experiments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1879-1907.
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