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Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
Working Papers
Tom Sawyer and the construction of value
Dan Ariely
George Loewenstein
Drazen Prelec

This paper challenges the common assumption that economic agents know their tastes. After reviewing previous research showing that valuation of ordinary products and experiences can be manipulated by non-normative cues, we present three studies showing that in some cases people do not even have a pre-existing sense of whether an experience is good or bad – even when they have experienced a sample of it.

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Dan Ariely & George Loewenstein & Drazen Prelec, Tom Sawyer and the construction of value, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Working Papers 05-10, 2005.
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Keywords: Microeconomics
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