An experimental market was used to investigate whether exchange goods may be susceptible to the endowment effect. Previous research (Kahneman et al., 1990) suggested that the endowment effect will not be observed in exchange goods. The present study demonstrates that it may be observed, but only when traders are uncertain about future exchange prices. It is argued that this is a manifestation of loss aversion due to the difficulty of computing the net gains and losses of trade when exchange rates are uncertain.

endowment effect, loss aversion
Laboratory, Individual Behavior (jel C91), Market Structure and Pricing: Other (jel D49), Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty (jel D81),
ERIM Article Series (EAS)
Journal of Economic Psychology
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

van Dijk, E, & van Knippenberg, D.L. (1996). Buying and selling exchange goods: Loss aversion and the endowment effect. Journal of Economic Psychology, 17(4), 517–524. doi:10.1016/0167-4870(96)00017-7