Seminar in Microeconomics - Differences attract: An experimental study of focusing in economic choice

Donnerstag, 06. Dezember 2018
14.00 – 15.00 Uhr

Seminrraum 2. OG, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut an der Universität Konstanz (TWI) Hauptstrasse 90 8280 Kreuzlingen 2 Schweiz

Chair of Applied Research in Economics

Ola Anderson (Uppsala University)

Title : "Differences attract: An experimental study of focusing in economic choice"

Abstract : Several recent behavioral models of choice build on the idea that decision makers place more weight on attributes for which the available options differ more.We test this assumption in a controlled experiment. As hypothesized, we find that subjects are more likely to choose an option when we add new options that increase the maximal difference in the original option's strongest attribute. Our findings suggest that the decision maker's focus is drawn to attributes that stand out. We also test the focusing effect against theories of decoy effects (asymmetric dominance), but find that the focus effect dominates.