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A first test of focusing theory

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  • Dertwinkel-Kalt, Markus
  • Riener, Gerhard

Abstract

Focusing theory hypothesizes a bias toward concentration according to which consumers prefer goods with one outstanding feature over those with several smaller sized upsides. In contrast to models of present-biased behavior, focusing theory prescribes also future-biased behavior if an option's future reward is particularly outstanding. Our laboratory experiment yields substantial support for the bias toward concentration and finds both present-biased and future-biased choices as predicted by focusing theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Dertwinkel-Kalt, Markus & Riener, Gerhard, 2016. "A first test of focusing theory," DICE Discussion Papers 214, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:dicedp:214
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Oechssler, Jörg & Roider, Andreas & Schmitz, Patrick W., 2009. "Cognitive abilities and behavioral biases," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 147-152, October.
    2. James Andreoni & Charles Sprenger, 2012. "Estimating Time Preferences from Convex Budgets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(7), pages 3333-3356, December.
    3. Botond Koszegi & Adam Szeidl, 2013. "A Model of Focusing in Economic Choice," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(1), pages 53-104.
    4. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    5. Shane Frederick, 2005. "Cognitive Reflection and Decision Making," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 25-42, Fall.
    6. Peter Wakker & Veronika Köbberling & Christiane Schwieren, 2007. "Prospect-theory’s Diminishing Sensitivity Versus Economics’ Intrinsic Utility of Money: How the Introduction of the Euro can be Used to Disentangle the Two Empirically," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 63(3), pages 205-231, November.
    7. David Laibson, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Salience, & obliquity
      by chris in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2016-03-21 18:47:40

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    Cited by:

    1. Bonnet, Céline & Schain, Jan Philip, 2017. "An empirical analysis of mergers: Efficiency gains and impact on consumer prices," DICE Discussion Papers 244, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    2. Andersson, Ola & Ingebretsen Carlson, Jim & Wengström, Erik, 2016. "Differences Attract: An Experimental Study of Focusing in Economic Choice," Working Papers 2016:15, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    3. Brunner, Daniel & Heiss, Florian & Romahn, André & Weiser, Constantin, 2017. "Reliable estimation of random coefficient logit demand models," DICE Discussion Papers 267, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Attention; Focusing; Rational choice;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D90 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General

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