English, Article, Journal or magazine article edition: Don't aim too high: the potential costs of high aspirations Astrid Matthey; Nadja Dwenger

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Physical Description
  • preprint
Language
  • English

Edition details

Title
  • Don't aim too high: the potential costs of high aspirations
Author
  • Astrid Matthey
  • Nadja Dwenger
Physical Description
  • preprint
Notes
  • The higher our aspirations, the higher the probability that we have to adjust them downwards when forming more realistic expectations later on. This paper shows that the costs induced by high aspirations are not trivial. We ?rst develop a theoretical framework to identify the factors that determine the effect of aspirations on expected utility. Then we present evidence from a lab experiment on the factor found to be crucial: the adjustment of reference states to changes in expectations. The results suggest that the costs of high aspirations can be signi?cant, since reference states do not adjust quickly. We use a novel, indirect approach that allows us to infer the determinants of the reference state from observed behavior, rather than to rely on cheap talk.
  • aspirations, reference state, expectations, individual utility, experiments
  • RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2007-097
Language
  • English
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