Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Research Institute of Industrial Economics

No 1215: The (Un)compromise Effect

Mathias Ekström ()
Additional contact information
Mathias Ekström: Department of Economics, NHH – Norwegian School of Economics, Postal: and Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Stockholm

Abstract: The current study provides the first experimental test of the compromise effect, i.e. the tendency to choose middle options, in a naturally occurring setting. Simultaneously, I propose and evaluate a novel nudge intended to stimulate active choice—the (un)compromise effect—a compromise effect without an explicit middle option. 63,494 recipients of a mail fundraiser were randomly assigned to one of three sets of suggested donations: [$10, $50, $100, $__ ]; [$10, $50, $100, $250, $500, $__ ]; or [$10, $500, $__ ]. The results support both the compromise effect and the (un)compromise effect: extending the range increased the fraction donating $100 as well as the average donation—independent of whether the middle suggested donations were present or not. Hence, by only providing informative end points, organizations can affect decision-making and at the same time promote individuality through active choice. The results also shed light on why suggested alternatives affect choice in general: they reduce the cognitive cost of figuring out what actions are appropriate.

Keywords: Choice architecture; Compromise effect; Consumer choice; Field experiment; Philanthropy

JEL-codes: C93; D03; D64

24 pages, May 7, 2018

Full text files

1215 PDF-file Full text

Download statistics

Questions (including download problems) about the papers in this series should be directed to Elisabeth Gustafsson ()
Report other problems with accessing this service to Sune Karlsson ().

This page generated on 2018-05-28 14:46:01.