The endowment effect as self-enhancement in response to threat

Promothesh Chatterjee, Caglar Irmak, Randall L. Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The discrepancy between willingness to pay (WTP) and willingness to accept (WTA) for a product, referred to as the endowment effect, has been investigated and replicated across various domains because of its implications for rational decision making. The authors assume that implicit processes operate in the endowment effect and propose an explanation that is derived from the two main accounts of the effect, ownership and loss aversion. Based on the implicit egotism and selfaffirmation literatures, the model argues that selling is perceived as an implicit selfthreat and that sellers, as a part of their automatic defense mechanism, respond to this self-threat by enhancing the value of the self-associated object. Five studies test these conjectures and provide support for the proposed model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)460-476
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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