The Disparity Between Willingness-to-Pay Versus Willingness-to-Accept as a Framing Effect

  • Gary H. McClelland
  • William D. Schulze
Part of the Recent Research in Psychology book series (PSYCHOLOGY)


A number of studies (see, e.g., Kahneman & Tversky, 1984; Thaler, 1985; and Tversky & Kahneman, 1981) have demonstrated that the way an individual frames or represents a choice problem can have important effects on the choices made. Machina (1987) argues that such framing effects remain one of the major unsolved problems of choice under uncertainty. A dramatic illustration of a framing effect was presented by Knetsch and Sinden (1984); they showed in a series of experiments that the amount people were willing to accept (WTA) to sell back lottery tickets exceeded the amount they were willing to pay (WTP) for purchase of lottery tickets by a factor of about two to one. The underlying choice problem is the same, either (a) to have a certain amount of money and no lottery ticket or (b) to hold a lottery ticket but to forgo a certain amount of money. The difference in behavior is apparently due to whether the choice is framed as buying (WTP) or selling (WTA).1


Prospect Theory Insurance Policy Expect Utility Theory Lottery Ticket Vickrey Auction 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary H. McClelland
  • William D. Schulze

There are no affiliations available

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