Pietro Ortoleva

Princeton University
392A Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building
Princeton, NJ 08544

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Institutional Affiliation: Princeton University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

August 2018Econographics
with Jonathan Chapman, Mark Dean, Erik Snowberg, Colin Camerer: w24931
We study the pattern of correlations across a large number of behavioral regularities, with the goal of creating an empirical basis for more comprehensive theories of decision-making. We elicit 21 behaviors using an incentivized survey on a representative sample (n=1,000) of the U.S. population. Our data show a clear and relatively simple structure underlying the correlations between these measures. Using principal components analysis, we reduce the 21 variables to six components corresponding to clear clusters of high correlations. We examine the relationship between these components, cognitive ability, and demographics, and discuss the theoretical implications of the structure we uncover and find a number of relations that partly confirm, but also add nuance, to previous findings.
October 2017Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Accept are Probably Less Correlated Than You Think
with Jonathan Chapman, Mark Dean, Erik Snowberg, Colin Camerer: w23954
An enormous literature documents that willingness to pay (WTP) is less than willingness to accept (WTA) a monetary amount for an object, a phenomenon called the endowment effect. Using data from an incentivized survey of a representative sample of 3,000 U.S. adults, we add one (probably) surprising additional finding: WTA and WTP for a lottery are, at best, slightly correlated. Across all respondents, the correlation is slightly negative. A meta-study of published experiments with university students shows a correlation of around 0.15--0.2, consistent with the correlation in our data for high-IQ respondents. While poorly related to each other, WTA and WTP are closely related to different measures of risk aversion, and relatively stable across time. We show that the endowment effect is not ...
July 2013Overconfidence in Political Behavior
with Erik Snowberg: w19250
This paper studies, theoretically and empirically, the role of overconfidence in political behavior. Our model of overconfidence in beliefs predicts that overconfidence leads to ideological extremeness, increased voter turnout, and increased strength of partisan identification. Moreover, the model makes many nuanced predictions about the patterns of ideology in society, and over a person's lifetime. These predictions are tested using unique data that measure the overconfidence, and standard political characteristics, of a nationwide sample of over 3,000 adults. Our predictions, eight in total, find strong support in this data. In particular, we document that overconfidence is a substantively and statistically important predictor of ideological extremeness and voter turnout.

Published: Pietro Ortoleva & Erik Snowberg, 2015. "Overconfidence in Political Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(2), pages 504-35, February. citation courtesy of

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