A Test for Anchoring and Yea-Saying in Experimental Consumption Data
CentER Discussion Paper No. 2004-27
34 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2004
Date Written: 2004
In the experimental module of the AHEAD 1995 data, the sample is randomly split into respondents who get an open-ended question on the amount of total family consumption - with follow-up unfolding brackets (of the form: is consumption $X or more?) for those who answer don't know or refuse - and respondents who are immediately directed to unfolding brackets. In both cases, the entry point of the unfolding bracket sequence is randomized. These data are used to develop a nonparametric test for whether people make mistakes in answering the first bracket question, allowing for any type of selection into answering the open-ended question or not. Two well-known types of mistakes are considered: anchoring and yea-saying (or acquiescence). While the literature provides ample evidence that the entry point in the first bracket question serves as an anchor for follow-up bracket questions, it is less clear whether the answers to the first bracket question are already affected by anchoring. We reject the joint hypothesis of no anchoring and no yea-saying at the entry point. Once yea-saying is taken into account, there is no evidence of anchoring.
Keywords: Unfolding brackets, non-response, anchoring, yea-saying
JEL Classification: C81, D12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation