1,413,231 research outputs found

    Changing preferences: an experiment and estimation of market-incentive effects on altruism

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    This paper studies how altruistic preferences are changed by markets and incentives. We conduct a laboratory experiment in a within-subject design. Subjects are asked to choose health care qualities for hypothetical patients in monopoly, duopoly, and quadropoly. Prices, costs, and patient benefits are experimental incentive parameters. In monopoly, subjects choose quality to tradeoff between profits and altruistic patient benefits. In duopoly and quadropoly, we model subjects playing a simultaneous-move game. Each subject is uncertain about an opponent's altruism, and competes for patients by choosing qualities. Bayes-Nash equilibria describe subjects' quality decisions as functions of altruism. Using a nonparametric method, we estimate the population altruism distributions from Bayes-Nash equilibrium qualities in different markets and incentive configurations. Markets tend to reduce altruism, although duopoly and quadropoly equilibrium qualities are much higher than those in monopoly. Although markets crowd out altruism, the disciplinary powers of market competition are stronger. Counterfactuals confirm markets change preferences.Accepted manuscrip

    Spherical Preferences

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    We introduce and study the property of orthogonal independence, a restricted additivity axiom applying when alternatives are orthogonal. The axiom requires that the preference for one marginal change over another should be maintained after each marginal change has been shifted in a direction that is orthogonal to both. We show that continuous preferences satisfy orthogonal independence if and only if they are spherical: their indifference curves are spheres with the same center, with preference being "monotone" either away or towards the center. Spherical preferences include linear preferences as a special (limiting) case. We discuss different applications to economic and political environments. Our result delivers Euclidean preferences in models of spatial voting, quadratic welfare aggregation in social choice, and expected utility in models of choice under uncertainty

    From preferences between arguments to preferences between explanations

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    In this ongoing work we present a new approach to the problem of argument evaluation. According to our view the notion of preference between deductive arguments is reducible to simpler notions. Departuring from this analysis we intend to apply it to the problem of hypothesis selection in explanatory practices.Universidad de MĂĄlaga. Campus de Excelencia Internacional AndalucĂ­a Tech

    Carrot or Stick? Group Selection and the Evolution of Reciprocal Preferences

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    This paper studies the evolution of both characteristics of reciprocity - the willingness to reward friendly behavior and the willingness to punish hostile behavior. Firstly, preferences for rewarding as well as preferences for punishing can survive evolution provided individuals interact within separated groups. This holds even with randomly formed groups and even when individual preferences are unobservable. Secondly, preferences for rewarding survive only in coexistence with self-interested preferences. But preferences for punishing tend either to vanish or to dominate the population entirely. Finally, the evolution of preferences for rewarding and the evolution of preferences for punishing influence each other decisively. The existence of rewarders enhances the evolutionary success of punishers, but punishers crowd out rewarders

    Appropriate Methodologies to Better Measure Consumer Preferences for Postal Services

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    This report summarises work undertaken testing the use of stated preference discrete choice experiments to measure consumer preferences for postal services. It discusses the importance of understanding and quantifying consumer priorities in the postal sector and presents different methods used for valuing non-market goods. We recommend the use of stated preference discrete choice experiments, and test the use of this approach in three member states. We provide the findings for these member states, as well as a “tool kit” for applying this methodology in other member states in future.Consumer preferences, postal services, discrete choice, two-sided market

    Preferences stability: A measure of preferences changes over time

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    ProducciĂłn CientĂ­ficaTraditionally, preferences have been considered stable although there are growing evidences that such stability is a mere theoretical assumption. Attending to this fact, it should be interesting to measure how much stability preferences provide in order to improve decision making processes. Surprisingly, no research has been found on measuring preferences stability. To overcome this drawback, this paper proposes a novel approach for measuring the stability of preferences and also for improving understanding of current and future decisions. In order to be faithful to reality, this research considers decisions like complete pre-orders on a set of alternatives. Following this reasoning, this paper provides the general concept of decision stability measure as well as two specific measures: the local and the global decision stability measure. Moreover, the main features of the novel approach are examined, including several mathematical results on the behaviour of the proposed measure. And eventually, this contribution develops two real cases of study, with in-depth analysis of preferences behaviour and their stability over time. Specifically, the first one explores into the characteristics of Spanish citizens' voting behaviour and the second one attempts to analyse European citizens' preferences about passenger car market.Este trabajo forma parte del proyecto de investigaciĂłn con financiaciĂłn nacional: MEC-FEDER Grant ECO2016-77900-

    Is the veil of ignorance only a concept about risk? An experiment

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    We implement the Rawlsian thought experiment of a veil of ignorance in the laboratory which introduces risk and possibly social preferences. We find that both men and women react to the risk introduced by the veil of ignorance. Only the women additionally exhibit social preferences that reflect an increased concern for equality. Our results for women imply that maximin preferences can also be derived from a combination of some, not necessarily infinite risk aversion and social preferences. This result contrasts the Utilitarians' claim that maximin preferences necessarily represent preferences with infinite risk aversion

    Where do preferences come from?

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    Rational choice theory analyzes how an agent can rationally act, given his or her preferences, but says little about where those preferences come from. Preferences are usually assumed to be fixed and exogenously given. Building on related work on reasons and rational choice (Dietrich and List, Nous, forthcoming), we describe a framework for conceptualizing preference formation and preference change. In our model, an agent’s preferences are based on certain ‘motivationally salient’ properties of the alternatives over which the preferences are held. Preferences may change as new properties of the alternatives become salient or previously salient properties cease to be salient. Our approach captures endogenous preferences in various contexts and helps to illuminate the distinction between formal and substantive concepts of rationality, as well as the role of perception in rational choice