Resource title

Don't aim too high: the potential costs of high aspirations

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Resource description

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 first 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 significant, 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.

Resource author

Astrid Matthey, Nadja Dwenger

Resource publisher

Resource publish date

Resource language

eng

Resource content type

text/html

Resource resource URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10419/25253

Resource license

Adapt according to the presented license agreement and reference the original author.