Accessibility statement

Does the Procedure Matter?

Lihui Lin


When searching for some product to buy, consumers are typically bombarded with choice. Some suppliers try and simplify the decision problem for their potential buyers in some way. A typical procedure is to present the products in sequential ‘pages’ and ask shoppers to select an item from each page – putting them in a wish list, from which the final choice will be made. We experimentally investigate how the final decision is affected by the number of items on each page, and hence by the number of items in the wish list. We estimate the parameters of a stochastic model ‘explaining’ the data, in particular examining the noisiness of the choices at each stage. Our results show that procedure matters, and that the trade-off between more options within each page and the more pages is influential.

Key Words

 Sequential Decision-Making, Online Behaviour, Choice Overload, Experiment, Stochastic Risk Aversion

JEL codes


The paper

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