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One swallow doesn’t make a summer: new evidence on anchoring effects

  • Maniadis, Zacharias
  • Tufano, Fabio
  • List, John

Some researchers have argued that anchoring in economic valuations casts doubt on the assumption of consistent and stable preferences. We present new evidence that questions the robustness of certain anchoring results. We then present a theoretical framework that provides insights into why we should be cautious of initial empirical findings in general. The model importantly highlights that the rate of false positives depends not only on the observed significance level, but also on statistical power, research priors, and the number of scholars exploring the question. Importantly, a few independent replications dramatically increase the chances that a given original finding is true.

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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 1314.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:stn:sotoec:1314
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  1. repec:feb:artefa:0087 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Dan Ariely & George Loewenstein & Drazen Prelec, 2003. ""Coherent Arbitrariness": Stable Demand Curves Without Stable Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 73-105, February.
  3. Jonathan E. Alevy & Craig E. Landry & John A. List, 2011. "Field Experiments on Anchoring of Economic Valuations," Working Papers 2011-02, University of Alaska Anchorage, Department of Economics.
  4. Fabio Tufano, 2010. "Are ‘true’ preferences revealed in repeated markets? An experimental demonstration of context-dependent valuations," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 1-13, March.
  5. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2009. "Beyond Revealed Preference: Choice-Theoretic Foundations for Behavioral Welfare Economics-super-," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(1), pages 51-104, February.
  6. Maniadis, Zacharias & Levine, David K. & Fudenberg, Drew, 2012. "On the Robustness of Anchoring Effects in WTP and WTA Experiments," Scholarly Articles 11005333, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Linda Babcock & George Loewenstein, 1997. "Explaining Bargaining Impasse: The Role of Self-Serving Biases," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 109-126, Winter.
  8. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "Viewpoint: On the generalizability of lab behaviour to the field," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(2), pages 347-370, May.
  9. Joseph P. Romano & Michael Wolf, 2005. "Stepwise Multiple Testing as Formalized Data Snooping," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(4), pages 1237-1282, 07.
  10. Oswald, Andrew J., 2006. "An Examination of the Reliability of Prestigious Scholarly Journals: Evidence and Implications for Decision-makers," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 744, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  11. Uri Simonsohn & George Loewenstein, 2006. "Mistake #37: The Effect of Previously Encountered Prices on Current Housing Demand," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(508), pages 175-199, 01.
  12. 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.
  13. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2008. "Beyond Revealed Preference: Choice Theoretic Foundations for Behavioral Welfare Economics," NBER Working Papers 13737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. N. Lesca, 2011. "Introduction," Post-Print halshs-00640604, HAL.
  15. Alan Beggs & Kathryn Graddy, 2009. "Anchoring Effects: Evidence from Art Auctions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 1027-39, June.
  16. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  17. Hunter, John E, 2001. " The Desperate Need for Replications," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 149-58, June.
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