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Being in the Right Place: A Natural Field Experiment on List Position and Consumer Choice

Marco Novarese () and Chris M. Wilson

MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: By randomising the order in which new economics research papers are presented in email alerts and tracking economists’ subsequent download activity, this paper uses a natural field experiment to better understand the reasons why individuals show a disproportionate tendency to select items listed in top position. Using a novel method, the paper tests and rejects three common explanations regarding item order, choice fatigue and position as a quality signal. The paper then further demonstrates how the causes of top position effects vary significantly with list length, and points to some alternative explanations.

Keywords: Position Effects; Order Effects; Primacy Effects; Recency Effects; Choice Fatigue; Prominence (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 D01 D03 L0 L00 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe and nep-exp
Date: 2013-06
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