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Preference reversals and disparities between willingness to pay and willingness to accept in repeated markets

  • Graham Loomes

    (University of Warwick)

  • Chris Starmer

    (University of Nottingham)

  • Robert Sugden

    (University of East Anglia)

Previous studies suggest that two otherwise robust 'anomalies' – preference reversals and disparities between buying and selling valuations – are eroded when respondents participate in repeated markets. We report an experiment which investigates whether this is true when factors neglected in previous studies are controlled, and which distinguishes between anomalies revealed in the behaviour of individual market participants and anomalies revealed in market prices. Our results confirm the decay of buy/sell disparities, but not of preference reversal. This raises doubts about the hypothesis that, in general, repeated markets reveal anomaly-free preferences, even among the marginal traders who determine prices.

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Paper provided by School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. in its series Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) with number 09-07.

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Date of creation: 10 Nov 2009
Handle: RePEc:uea:wcbess:09-07
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  1. Hey, John D & Orme, Chris, 1994. "Investigating Generalizations of Expected Utility Theory Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1291-1326, November.
  2. Robert Sugden, 2004. "The Opportunity Criterion: Consumer Sovereignty Without the Assumption of Coherent Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1014-1033, September.
  3. Loomes, Graham & Moffatt, Peter G & Sugden, Robert, 2002. "A Microeconometric Test of Alternative Stochastic Theories of Risky Choice," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 103-30, March.
  4. Cherry, Todd L. & Shogren, Jason F., 2007. "Rationality crossovers," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 261-277, April.
  5. Braga, Jacinto & Humphrey, Steven J. & Starmer, Chris, 2009. "Market experience eliminates some anomalies--and creates new ones," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 401-416, May.
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  7. Jack L. Knetsch & J. A. Sinden, 1984. "Willingness to Pay and Compensation Demanded: Experimental Evidence of an Unexpected Disparity in Measures of Value," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(3), pages 507-521.
  8. Seidl, Christian, 2002. " Preference Reversal," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(5), pages 621-55, December.
  9. Chris Starmer, 2000. "Developments in Non-expected Utility Theory: The Hunt for a Descriptive Theory of Choice under Risk," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 332-382, June.
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  11. Graham Loomes & Chris Starmer & Robert Sugden, 2003. "Do Anomalies Disappear in Repeated Markets?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(486), pages C153-C166, March.
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  13. Shogren, Jason F. & Cho, Sungwon & Koo, Cannon & List, John & Park, Changwon & Polo, Pablo & Wilhelmi, Robert, 2001. "Auction mechanisms and the measurement of WTP and WTA," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 97-109, April.
  14. Sugden, Robert, 2003. "Reference-dependent subjective expected utility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 172-191, August.
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  16. Cherry, Todd L. & Crocker, Thomas D. & Shogren, Jason F., 2003. "Rationality spillovers," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 63-84, January.
  17. Chu, Yun-Peng & Chu, Ruey-Ling, 1990. "The Subsidence of Preference Reversals in Simplified and Marketlike Experimental Settings: A Note," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 902-11, September.
  18. Cox, James C. & Grether, David M., 1993. "The Preference Reversal Phenomenon: Response Mode, Markets and Incentives," Working Papers 810, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  19. Casey, Jeff T., 1991. "Reversal of the preference reversal phenomenon," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 224-251, April.
  20. Andrea Isoni & Graham Loomes & Robert Sugden, 2009. "The willingness to pay-willingness to accept gap, the "endowment effect," subject misconceptions, and experiemntal procedures for eliciting valuations: A reassessment," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 09-14, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
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  22. Dan Ariely & George Loewenstein & Drazen Prelec, 2003. ""Coherent Arbitrariness": Stable Demand Curves Without Stable Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 73-106.
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  25. David J. Butler & Graham C. Loomes, 2007. "Imprecision as an Account of the Preference Reversal Phenomenon," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 277-297, March.
  26. Tversky, Amos & Slovic, Paul & Kahneman, Daniel, 1990. "The Causes of Preference Reversal," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 204-17, March.
  27. Shogren, Jason F. & Shin, Seung Youll & Hayes, Dermot J. & Kliebenstein, James, 1994. "Resolving Differences in Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Accept," Staff General Research Papers Archive 701, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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