Munich Personal RePEc Archive

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

Novarese, Marco and Wilson, Chris M. (2013): Being in the Right Place: A Natural Field Experiment on List Position and Consumer Choice.

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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.

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