Department of Economics
Institutional Affiliation: Wesleyan University
Information about this author at RePEc
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|November 2018||When Fair Isn't Fair: Understanding Choice Reversals Involving Social Preferences|
with James Andreoni, Deniz Aydin, Blake Barton, B. Douglas Bernheim: w25257
In settings with uncertainty, tension exists between ex ante and ex post notions of fairness (e.g., equal opportunity versus equal outcomes). In a laboratory experiment, the most common behavioral pattern is for subjects to select the ex ante fair alternative ex ante, and switch to the ex post fair alternative ex post. One potential explanation embraces consequentialism and construes the reversals as manifestations of time inconsistency. Another abandons consequentialism, thereby avoiding the implication that revisions imply inconsistency. We test between these explanations by examining the demand for commitment, and contingent planning. The hypothesis of time-consistent non-consequentialism receives strong support.
|August 2013||Non-Choice Evaluations Predict Behavioral Responses to Changes in Economic Conditions|
with B. Douglas Bernheim, Daniel Bjorkegren, Antonio Rangel: w19269
A central task in microeconomics is to predict choices in as-yet-unobserved situations (e.g., after some policy intervention). Standard approaches can prove problematic when sufficiently similar changes have not been observed or do not have observable exogenous causes. We explore an alternative approach that generates predictions based on relationships across decision problems between actual choice frequencies and non-choice subjective evaluations of the available options. In a laboratory experiment, we find that this method yields accurate estimates of price sensitivities for a collection of products under conditions that render standard methods either inapplicable or highly inaccurate.