Preferences Over Constructed Sequences: Empirical Evidence from Music

30 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2016 Last revised: 25 Jan 2017

See all articles by Manel Baucells

Manel Baucells

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Daniel Smith

Independent

Martin Weber

University of Mannheim - Department of Banking and Finance

Date Written: January 28, 2016

Abstract

The satiation utility model - a modification of discounted utility satisfying local substitution - predicts that optimal consumption sequences are U-shaped (high at the very beginning, constant in the middle, and high at the very end). To test this prediction we collect two datasets of musical sequences from social media. The first dataset from Wikipedia encompasses 1,082 articles on concerts and 15,001 articles on individual songs. The second dataset from Last.fm contains 1.5 million playlists for individual use, including markers of favorite songs. Both datasets reveal a significant U-shaped pattern in song quality, with the higher-ranked or individually preferred songs being placed at the initial and the final point in the sequence. We discuss the findings in view of extant factors that may explain preferences over consumption sequences.

Keywords: Intertemporal choice, preferences over sequences, satiation, music concerts, music playlists

JEL Classification: D11, D12, D90

Suggested Citation

Baucells, Manel and Smith, Daniel and Weber, Martin, Preferences Over Constructed Sequences: Empirical Evidence from Music (January 28, 2016). Darden Business School Working Paper No. 2724193, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2724193 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2724193

Manel Baucells (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

Daniel Smith

Independent ( email )

Martin Weber

University of Mannheim - Department of Banking and Finance ( email )

D-68131 Mannheim
Germany
+49 621 181 1532 (Phone)
+49 621 181 1534 (Fax)

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