Preference Learning in Consecutive Experimental Auctions

Shogren, Jason F.; List, John; Hayes, Dermot J.

American Journal of Agricultural Economics Vol. 82 no. 4 (November 2000): 1016-1021.

This paper explores the origins of the strikingly high price premia paid for new food products in lab valuation exercises. Our experimental design distinguishes between two explanations of this phenomenon: novelty of the experimental experience versus the novelty of the good, i.e., preference learningラbids reflect a personメs desire to learn how an unfamiliar good fits into their preference set. Subjects bid in four consecutive experimental auctions for three goods that vary in familiarity, candy bars, mangos, and irradiated meat. Our results suggest that preference learning is the main source of the high premia, and that novelty of the experimental experience does not in itself artificially inflate valuations.

Published Version