IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Economic Consequences of Mispredicting Utility

  • Bruno S. Frey
  • Alois Stutzer

Individuals make systematic mistakes in their decisions, because they mispredict utility from choice options. When deciding, extrinsic attributes of choice options are more salient than intrinsic attributes. Adaptation is neglected, recollection of feelings is distorted, decisions are rationalized and wrong intuitive theories of happiness are applied. People overestimate extrinsic attributes and therefore put too much emphasis on acquiring income and gaining status. In contrast, they underestimate intrinsic attributes and devote too little time to their family, friends or hobbies, which lowers their utility level. The theoretical analysis is consistent with an econometric study on commuting decisions using reported subjective well-being data.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.iew.uzh.ch/wp/iewwp218.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 218.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation:
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:218
Contact details of provider: Postal: Rämistrasse 71, CH-8006 Zürich
Phone: +41-1-634 21 37
Fax: +41-1-634 49 82
Web page: http://www.econ.uzh.ch/Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Alois Stutzer, . "The Role of Income Aspirations in Individual Happiness," IEW - Working Papers 124, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. Pedro Bordalo & Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer, . "Salience Theory of Choice Under Risk," Working Paper 29210, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  3. Welsch, Heinz & Kühling, Jan, 2011. "Are pro-environmental consumption choices utility-maximizing? Evidence from subjective well-being data," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 75-87.
  4. Roberts, Jennifer & Hodgson, Robert & Dolan, Paul, 2011. "“It's driving her mad”: Gender differences in the effects of commuting on psychological health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1064-1076.
  5. Comerford, David A., 2011. "Attenuating focalism in affective forecasts of the commuting experience: Implications for economic decisions and policy making," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 691-699.
  6. Tatzel, Miriam, 2002. ""Money worlds" and well-being: An integration of money dispositions, materialism and price-related behavior," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 103-126, February.
  7. Stutzer, Alois & Frey, Bruno S., 2004. "Stress That Doesn't Pay: The Commuting Paradox," IZA Discussion Papers 1278, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Rafael Di Tella & John Haisken-De New & Robert MacCulloch, 2007. "Happiness Adaptation to Income and to Status in an Individual Panel," NBER Working Papers 13159, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Stephan Meier & Alois Stutzer, 2008. "Is Volunteering Rewarding in Itself?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(297), pages 39-59, 02.
  10. Bruno S. Frey & Matthias Benz & Alois Stutzer, 2003. "Introducing Procedural Utility: Not only What, but also How Matters," CREMA Working Paper Series 2003-02, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  11. Clark, Andrew E & Georgellis, Yannis & Sanfey, Peter, 2001. "Scarring: The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(270), pages 221-41, May.
  12. Oswald, Andrew J. & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2006. "Does Happiness Adapt? A Longitudinal Study of Disability with Implications for Economists and Judges," IZA Discussion Papers 2208, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. van Ommeren, Jos & Rietveld, Piet & Nijkamp, Peter, 1997. "Commuting: In Search of Jobs and Residences," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 402-421, November.
  14. Andrew E. Clark & Ed Diener & Yannis Georgellis & Richard E. Lucas, 2008. "Lags and Leads in Life Satisfaction: A Test of the Baseline Hypothesis," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 84, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  15. Weinberg, Daniel H. & Friedman, Joseph & Mayo, Stephen K., 1981. "Intraurban residential mobility: The role of transactions costs, market imperfections, and household disequilibrium," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 332-348, May.
  16. Maurizio Pugno, 2011. "Scitovsky and the income-happiness paradox," Working Papers 2011-07, Universita' di Cassino, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche.
  17. Hsee, Christopher K. & Rottenstreich, Yuval & Stutzer, Alois, 2012. "Suboptimal Choices and the Need for Experienced Individual Well-Being in Economic Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 6346, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. Oswald, Andrew J, 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1815-31, November.
  19. George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2003. "Projection Bias In Predicting Future Utility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1209-1248, November.
  20. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  21. Luis Rayo & Gary S. Becker, 2007. "Evolutionary Efficiency and Happiness," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 302-337.
  22. Robson, Arthur J. & Samuelson, Larry, 2011. "The evolution of decision and experienced utility," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 6(3), September.
  23. Uri Simonsohn, 2006. "New Yorkers Commute More Everywhere: Contrast Effects in the Field," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-9, February.
  24. Stutzer, Alois & Frey, Bruno S., 2005. "Does Marriage Make People Happy, Or Do Happy People Get Married?," IZA Discussion Papers 1811, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  25. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2006. "Some Uses of Happiness Data in Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 25-46, Winter.
  26. Daniel Kahneman & Richard H. Thaler, 2006. "Anomalies: Utility Maximization and Experienced Utility," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 221-234, Winter.
  27. Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132.
  28. Alois Stutzer & Bruno S. Frey, 2003. "Reported Subjective Well-Being: A Challenge for Economic Theory and Economic Policy," CREMA Working Paper Series 2003-07, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  29. Paul Frijters & John P. Haisken-DeNew & Michael A. Shields, 2004. "Investigating the Patterns and Determinants of Life Satisfaction in Germany Following Reunification," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(3).
  30. Loewenstein, George & Adler, Daniel, 1995. "A Bias in the Prediction of Tastes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(431), pages 929-37, July.
  31. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
  32. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "What can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," IEW - Working Papers 080, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  33. Timothy, Darren & Wheaton, William C., 2001. "Intra-Urban Wage Variation, Employment Location, and Commuting Times," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 338-366, September.
  34. Bruno S. Frey & Reto Jegen, 2000. "Motivation Crowding Theory: A Survey of Empirical Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 245, CESifo Group Munich.
  35. Kahneman, Daniel & Wakker, Peter P & Sarin, Rakesh, 1997. "Back to Bentham? Explorations of Experienced Utility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 375-405, May.
  36. Paul Frijters & David W. Johnston & Michael A. Shields, 2011. "Life Satisfaction Dynamics with Quarterly Life Event Data," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 113(1), pages 190-211, 03.
  37. Graham, Liam & Oswald, Andrew J., 2010. "Hedonic capital, adaptation and resilience," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 372-384, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:218. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marita Kieser)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.