Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 4 No. 2 (Spring 1990)


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Anomalies: Preference Reversals

Article Citation

Tversky, Amos, and Richard H. Thaler. 1990. "Anomalies: Preference Reversals." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 4(2): 201-211.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.4.2.201


The preference reversal phenomenon has been established in numerous studies during the last two decades, but its causes have only recently been uncovered. This phenomenon, or cluster of phenomena, challenges the traditional assumption that the decisionmaker has a fixed preference order that is captured accurately by any reliable elicitation procedure. If option A is priced higher than option B, we cannot always assume that A is preferred to B in a direct comparison. The evidence shows that different methods of elicitation could change the relative weighting of the attributes and give rise to different orderings.

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Tversky, Amos (Stanford U)
Thaler, Richard H. (Cornell U)

JEL Classifications

022: Microeconomic Theory--General


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