Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2255650
 


 



Evolutionary Origins of the Endowment Effect: Evidence from Hunter-Gatherers


Coren L Apicella


University of Pennsylvania - Department of Psychology

Eduardo M. Azevedo


University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Nicholas A. Christakis


Harvard University

James H. Fowler


UC San Diego Division of Social Sciences; UC San Diego School of Medicine

August 23, 2013

American Economic Review, 104 (6) 1793-1805, 2014

Abstract:     
The endowment effect, the tendency to value possessions more than non-possessions, is a well known departure from rational choice and has been replicated in numerous settings. We investigate the universality of the endowment effect, its evolutionary significance, and its dependence on environmental factors.

We experimentally test for the endowment effect in an isolated and evolutionarily relevant population of hunter-gatherers, the Hadza Bushmen of Northern Tanzania. We find that Hadza living in isolated regions do not display the endowment effect, while Hadza living in a geographic region with increased exposure to modern society and markets do display the endowment effect.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 13

Keywords: endowment effect, loss aversion

JEL Classification: C93, D03, D81

Accepted Paper Series


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Date posted: April 24, 2013 ; Last revised: May 29, 2014

Suggested Citation

Apicella, Coren L and Azevedo, Eduardo M. and Christakis, Nicholas A. and Fowler, James H., Evolutionary Origins of the Endowment Effect: Evidence from Hunter-Gatherers (August 23, 2013). American Economic Review, 104 (6) 1793-1805, 2014. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2255650 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2255650

Contact Information

Coren L Apicella (Contact Author)
University of Pennsylvania - Department of Psychology ( email )
3815 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6196
United States
Eduardo M. Azevedo
University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )
3641 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.eduardoMazevedo.com
Nicholas A. Christakis
Harvard University ( email )
180 Longwood Ave
Boston, MA 02115
United States
HOME PAGE: http://christakis.med.harvard.edu/
James H. Fowler
UC San Diego Division of Social Sciences ( email )
9500 Gilman Drive
Code 0521
La Jolla, CA 92093-0521
United States
HOME PAGE: http://jhfowler.ucsd.edu
UC San Diego School of Medicine ( email )
9500 Gilman Drive
MC 0507
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States
HOME PAGE: http://jhfowler.ucsd.edu
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