A Test for Anchoring and Yea-Saying in Experimental Consumption Data

CentER Discussion Paper No. 2004-27

34 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2004

See all articles by Arthur van Soest

Arthur van Soest

Tilburg University; Netspar; RAND Corporation; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Michael D. Hurd

RAND Corporation; State University of New York at Stony Brook - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2004

Abstract

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

van Soest, Arthur H. O. and Hurd, Michael D., A Test for Anchoring and Yea-Saying in Experimental Consumption Data (2004). CentER Discussion Paper No. 2004-27, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=557782 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.557782

Arthur H. O. van Soest (Contact Author)

Tilburg University ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, DC Noord-Brabant 5000 LE
Netherlands

Netspar

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
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RAND Corporation ( email )

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Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
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Germany

Michael D. Hurd

RAND Corporation ( email )

P.O. Box 2138
1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States
310-393-0411 (Phone)
310-393-4818 (Fax)

State University of New York at Stony Brook - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics ( email )

Stony Brook, NY 11794
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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