NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

A Test for Anchoring and Yea-Saying in Experimental Consumption Data

Arthur van Soest, Michael Hurd

NBER Working Paper No. 10462
Issued in May 2004
NBER Program(s):   AG

In the experimental module of the AHEAD 1995 data, the sample is randomly split into respondents who get an open-ended question on the amount of total family consumption - with follow-up unfolding brackets (of the form: is consumption $X or more?) for those who answer don't know' or refuse' - and respondents who are immediately directed to unfolding brackets. In both cases, the entry point of the unfolding bracket sequence is randomized. These data are used to develop a nonparametric test for whether people make mistakes in answering the first bracket question, allowing for any type of selection into answering the open-ended question or not. Two well-known types of mistakes are considered: anchoring and yea-saying (or acquiescence). While the literature provides ample evidence that the entry point in the first bracket question serves as an anchor for follow-up bracket questions, it is less clear whether the answers to the first bracket question are already affected by anchoring. We reject the joint hypothesis of no anchoring and no yea-saying at the entry point. Once yea-saying is taken into account

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Published: van Soest, Arthur & Hurd, Michael, 2008. "A Test for Anchoring and Yea-Saying in Experimental Consumption Data," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103, pages 126-136, March.

 
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