Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Endowment Effect

It was not a bad anniversary. Thank you for the happy wishes. We ended up having dinner at home and not doing anything special, that is the problem when your anniversary falls on a weekday.

I'm trying to remember where I read about the endowment effect. I read a lot of stuff but then I forget what came from where. Anyway, it all boils down to a good being worth more when seen as something that you might lose than when it is a potential gain.

The example I remember is the Duke University experiment with basketball tickets. Students enter a lottery after standing in line for days. Those who actually get a ticket, when asked, say the would not sell it for less than, say, 500 dollars. Those who had also stood in line for days but did not get a ticket said they were willing to pay 50 dollars.

The bottom line is that  when you actually own something you think it is more valuable.

Under this light, I see why miscarriage was emotionally more painful*  than the negative pregnancy results I used to get month after month of trying to conceive. And negative results were also more painful after going through the trouble of Clomid/FSH injections and IUI. It is as if going through all that trouble entitled me to a baby.

And so, at the risk of offending someone, I wonder if people with kids simply cannot fathom life without them, and when they read all those studies that indicate that people without kids are happier, they convince themselves that they are the exception.

If it is so, maybe, being childless is not going to be so bad.

* Let's not talk, for now, about the physical pain.

1 comment:

  1. Good analogy.....I do hope though whatever your true desire is comes true :)