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What have we learnt about Loss Aversion and Endowment Effects? Still an anomaly?


  • Patricio Santiago Dalton

    (University of Warwick)


This paper presents an insight into the theoretical and empirical literature of Loss Aversion and Endowment Effect. The definition and conceptualisation of both ideas is introduced in order to define a framework for further analysis. Their presence implies a radical change in some of the basic standard postulates of microeconomic foundation. These concepts robustly predict a divergence between Willingness to Accept and Willingness to Pay, even in a perfect-market framework and invalidate the standard assumptions of transitivity and reversibility of preferences under the neoclassical theory of consumer choice. Twenty years of successive positive evidence on Loss Aversion and Endowment Effect support the theoretical implications showed in this paper. I conclude that Loss Aversion and Endowment Effects truly matter and their existence must not be taken into account just as an anomaly or puzzle, but as part of a new theory in itself, leading to new questions and challenges for future economic research.

Suggested Citation

  • Patricio Santiago Dalton, 2003. "What have we learnt about Loss Aversion and Endowment Effects? Still an anomaly?," Microeconomics 0307005, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpmi:0307005
    Note: Type of Document - Acrobat PDF; prepared on PC; to print on HP A4; pages: 27 ; figures: included. 27 pages, pdf, figures included in the document

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    2. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1325-1348, December.
    3. Raymond S. Hartman & Michael J. Doane & Chi-Keung Woo, 1991. "Consumer Rationality and the Status Quo," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(1), pages 141-162.
    4. Hanemann, W Michael, 1991. "Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Accept: How Much Can They Differ?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 635-647, June.
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    More about this item


    Loss Aversion; Endowment Effects; WTA; WTP; Anomalies;

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory

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