The Satisficer's Curse

10 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2013

See all articles by Robert E. Marks

Robert E. Marks

UNSW Australia Business School, School of Economics

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Date Written: October 16, 2013


Following the Winner’s Curse and the Optimizer’s Curse, this paper introduces the Satisficer’s Curse. The Winner’s Curse requires competition between agents in an auction for, usually, a common-value item; the Optimizer’s Curse is a systematic overvaluation when the decision maker is choosing the highest-valued prospect of a set of uncertain future outcomes. The Satisficer’s Curse is a systematic overvaluation that occurs when any uncertain prospect is chosen because its estimate exceeds a positive threshold. It is the most general version of the three curses, all of which can be seen as statistical artefacts.

Keywords: decision analysis, investment, probability, ex-post disappointment, winner's curse

JEL Classification: D81, C44, G11

Suggested Citation

Marks, Robert E., The Satisficer's Curse (October 16, 2013). UNSW Australian School of Business Research Paper No. 2013-28, Available at SSRN: or

Robert E. Marks (Contact Author)

UNSW Australia Business School, School of Economics ( email )

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