Is endowment necessary to explain the endowment effect?
Last registered on November 13, 2017

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Is endowment necessary to explain the endowment effect?
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0002578
Initial registration date
November 12, 2017
Last updated
November 13, 2017 2:26 PM EST
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Monash University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2017-11-14
End date
2017-11-20
Secondary IDs
D91
Abstract
This paper hypothesizes that the endowment effect has little to do with endowment—if we defined endowment as legal claim (what we call “proprietorship”). This paper hypothesizes that the endowment effect is rather the outcome of bonding or psychological attachment (what we call “ownership”). Most, if not all, the experimental work in the economics literature involve a major confound between proprietorship (legal claim) and ownership (bonding). We run the standard workhorse experimental design—viz., the exchange of mugs and pens of Monash University—while separating ownership from proprietorship. We predict: i) the endowment effect appears even when there is no proprietorship (just mere ownership); ii) the endowment effect appears in the case of proprietorship of both items—which allows us to reason that it is the result of difference in ownership; ii) the endowment effect disappears in the case of proprietorship of both items when the participants see the items simultaneously—which allows us to reason that the simultaneity has expunged the ownership effect.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Dong, Lu. 2017. "Is endowment necessary to explain the endowment effect?." AEA RCT Registry. November 13. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2578/history/23180
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
We intend to use the standard workhorse experimental design—viz., the exchange of mugs and pens (with the same insignia)—while separating ownership from proprietorship.
Intervention Start Date
2017-11-15
Intervention End Date
2017-11-16
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
the rate of keeping the endowed item
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
A two-by-two treatments design: whether two items are presented simultaneously or subsequently, and whether two items are presented as loans or gift.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
coin flip
Randomization Unit
experimental sessions
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
8 experimental sessions
Sample size: planned number of observations
240 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
60 individuals per treatment
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number