Whereas exchange asymmetries for goods are well known, we provide a first incentivized test of exchange asymmetries for bads (i.e., items yielding a negative utility). On the one hand, prospect theory predicts an endowment effect for goods and bads, on the other hand, attention-based theories such as salience theory predict an endowment effect for goods, but a reverse endowment effect (i.e., a particular high willingness to switch) for bads. Since both strands of research often make the same predictions concerning biased decision making, the investigation of exchange asymmetries for bads is a key element to distinguish between their validity. In our experiment, we find a strong endowment effect for bads, so that our results speak in favor of prospect theory.
Loss Aversion Salience Theory Prospect Theory Endowment Effect