Does the Better-than-Average Effect Show that People are Overconfident?: Two Experiments

Published on Apr 1, 2015in Journal of the European Economic Association4.583
· DOI :10.1111/JEEA.12116
Jean-Pierre Benoit16
Estimated H-index: 16
Juan Dubra12
Estimated H-index: 12
Don A. Moore54
Estimated H-index: 54
We conduct two experimental tests of the claim that people are overconfident, using new tests of overplacement that are based on a formal Bayesian model. Our two experiments, on easy quizzes, find that people overplace themselves. More precisely, we find apparently overconfident data that cannot be accounted for by a rational population of expected utility maximizers who care only about money. The finding represents new evidence of overconfidence that is robust to the Bayesian critique offered by Benoit and Dubra (Jean-Pierre Benoit and Juan Dubra (2011). “Apparent Overconfidence.” Econometrica, 79, 1591–1625). We discuss possible limitations of our results.
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