Dissecting the Monty Hall Anomaly

10 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2018

See all articles by Duncan James

Duncan James

Fordham University

Daniel Friedman

University of California, Santa Cruz - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Christina Louie

University of California, Santa Cruz

Taylor O'Meara

University of California, Santa Cruz

Date Written: July 2018

Abstract

We assess competing explanations of irrational behavior in the Monty Hall problem by creating new variants of the problem. Some variants employ a feature that automates the merging of probabilities, thus rendering transparent the probabilistic advantage of the rational choice. That feature also enables systematic variation in informational asymmetry, and in ordering of actions. Data from 77 subjects, each of whom makes 30 binary decisions, indicate that automated merging raises the fraction of rational choices from around 40% to over 80%. Other features examined have much less impact, indicating the importance of a Bayesian updating failure.

JEL Classification: C91, D02, D81, D83

Suggested Citation

James, Duncan and Friedman, Daniel and Louie, Christina and O'Meara, Taylor, Dissecting the Monty Hall Anomaly (July 2018). Economic Inquiry, Vol. 56, Issue 3, pp. 1817-1826, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3188582 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecin.12533

Duncan James (Contact Author)

Fordham University ( email )

United States

Daniel Friedman

University of California, Santa Cruz - Department of Economics ( email )

Social Sciences I
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
United States
831-459-4981 (Phone)
831-459-5900 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Christina Louie

University of California, Santa Cruz

1156 High St
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
United States

Taylor O'Meara

University of California, Santa Cruz ( email )

1156 High St
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
United States

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