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Consistency in simple vs. complex choices by younger and older adults

Isabelle Brocas, Juan D. Carrillo, T. Dalton Combs and Niree Kodaverdian

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2019, vol. 157, issue C, 580-601

Abstract: Employing a variant of GARP, we study consistency in aging by comparing the choices of younger adults (YA) and older adults (OA) in a “simple”, two-good and a “complex” three-good condition. We find that OA perform worse than YA in the complex condition but similar to YA in the simple condition, both in terms of the number and severity of GARP violations. Working memory and IQ scores correlate significantly with consistency levels, but only in the complex treatment. Our findings suggest that the age-related deterioration of neural faculties responsible for working memory and fluid intelligence is an obstacle for consistent decision-making.

Keywords: Laboratory experiments; Revealed preferences; Aging; Complexity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D11 D12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2018.10.019

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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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