Budget Constraints Affect Male Rats' Choices between Differently Priced Commodities

Marijn van Wingerden, Christine Marx, Tobias Kalenscher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Demand theory can be applied to analyse how a human or animal consumer changes her selection of commodities within a certain budget in response to changes in price of those commodities. This change in consumption assessed over a range of prices is defined as demand elasticity. Previously, income-compensated and income-uncompensated price changes have been investigated using human and animal consumers, as demand theory predicts different elasticities for both conditions. However, in these studies, demand elasticity was only evaluated over the entirety of choices made from a budget. As compensating budgets changes the number of attainable commodities relative to uncompensated conditions, and thus the number of choices, it remained unclear whether budget compensation has a trivial effect on demand elasticity by simply sampling from a different total number of choices or has a direct effect on consumers' sequential choice structure. If the budget context independently changes choices between commodities over and above price effects, this should become apparent when demand elasticity is assessed over choice sets of any reasonable size that are matched in choice opportunities between budget conditions. To gain more detailed insight in the sequential choice dynamics underlying differences in demand elasticity between budget conditions, we trained N=8 rat consumers to spend a daily budget by making a number of nosepokes to obtain two liquid commodities under different price regimes, in sessions with and without budget compensation. We confirmed that demand elasticity for both commodities differed between compensated and uncompensated budget conditions, also when the number of choices considered was matched, and showed that these elasticity differences emerge early in the sessions. These differences in demand elasticity were driven by a higher choice rate and an increased reselection bias for the preferred commodity in compensated compared to uncompensated budget conditions, suggesting a budget context effect on relative valuation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e0129581
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume10
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Rats
Elasticity
Animals
Sampling
Liquids

Keywords

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Choice Behavior
  • Conditioning, Classical
  • Male
  • Rats

Cite this

van Wingerden, Marijn ; Marx, Christine ; Kalenscher, Tobias. / Budget Constraints Affect Male Rats' Choices between Differently Priced Commodities. In: PLoS ONE. 2015 ; Vol. 10, No. 6. pp. e0129581.
@article{3e41b3a58ad1407797dcab8f0c31fc4a,
title = "Budget Constraints Affect Male Rats' Choices between Differently Priced Commodities",
abstract = "Demand theory can be applied to analyse how a human or animal consumer changes her selection of commodities within a certain budget in response to changes in price of those commodities. This change in consumption assessed over a range of prices is defined as demand elasticity. Previously, income-compensated and income-uncompensated price changes have been investigated using human and animal consumers, as demand theory predicts different elasticities for both conditions. However, in these studies, demand elasticity was only evaluated over the entirety of choices made from a budget. As compensating budgets changes the number of attainable commodities relative to uncompensated conditions, and thus the number of choices, it remained unclear whether budget compensation has a trivial effect on demand elasticity by simply sampling from a different total number of choices or has a direct effect on consumers' sequential choice structure. If the budget context independently changes choices between commodities over and above price effects, this should become apparent when demand elasticity is assessed over choice sets of any reasonable size that are matched in choice opportunities between budget conditions. To gain more detailed insight in the sequential choice dynamics underlying differences in demand elasticity between budget conditions, we trained N=8 rat consumers to spend a daily budget by making a number of nosepokes to obtain two liquid commodities under different price regimes, in sessions with and without budget compensation. We confirmed that demand elasticity for both commodities differed between compensated and uncompensated budget conditions, also when the number of choices considered was matched, and showed that these elasticity differences emerge early in the sessions. These differences in demand elasticity were driven by a higher choice rate and an increased reselection bias for the preferred commodity in compensated compared to uncompensated budget conditions, suggesting a budget context effect on relative valuation.",
keywords = "Animals, Behavior, Animal, Choice Behavior, Conditioning, Classical, Male, Rats",
author = "{van Wingerden}, Marijn and Christine Marx and Tobias Kalenscher",
year = "2015",
doi = "10.1371/journal.pone.0129581",
language = "English",
volume = "10",
pages = "e0129581",
journal = "PLoS ONE",
issn = "1932-6203",
publisher = "PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE",
number = "6",

}

Budget Constraints Affect Male Rats' Choices between Differently Priced Commodities. / van Wingerden, Marijn; Marx, Christine; Kalenscher, Tobias.

In: PLoS ONE, Vol. 10, No. 6, 2015, p. e0129581.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Budget Constraints Affect Male Rats' Choices between Differently Priced Commodities

AU - van Wingerden, Marijn

AU - Marx, Christine

AU - Kalenscher, Tobias

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - Demand theory can be applied to analyse how a human or animal consumer changes her selection of commodities within a certain budget in response to changes in price of those commodities. This change in consumption assessed over a range of prices is defined as demand elasticity. Previously, income-compensated and income-uncompensated price changes have been investigated using human and animal consumers, as demand theory predicts different elasticities for both conditions. However, in these studies, demand elasticity was only evaluated over the entirety of choices made from a budget. As compensating budgets changes the number of attainable commodities relative to uncompensated conditions, and thus the number of choices, it remained unclear whether budget compensation has a trivial effect on demand elasticity by simply sampling from a different total number of choices or has a direct effect on consumers' sequential choice structure. If the budget context independently changes choices between commodities over and above price effects, this should become apparent when demand elasticity is assessed over choice sets of any reasonable size that are matched in choice opportunities between budget conditions. To gain more detailed insight in the sequential choice dynamics underlying differences in demand elasticity between budget conditions, we trained N=8 rat consumers to spend a daily budget by making a number of nosepokes to obtain two liquid commodities under different price regimes, in sessions with and without budget compensation. We confirmed that demand elasticity for both commodities differed between compensated and uncompensated budget conditions, also when the number of choices considered was matched, and showed that these elasticity differences emerge early in the sessions. These differences in demand elasticity were driven by a higher choice rate and an increased reselection bias for the preferred commodity in compensated compared to uncompensated budget conditions, suggesting a budget context effect on relative valuation.

AB - Demand theory can be applied to analyse how a human or animal consumer changes her selection of commodities within a certain budget in response to changes in price of those commodities. This change in consumption assessed over a range of prices is defined as demand elasticity. Previously, income-compensated and income-uncompensated price changes have been investigated using human and animal consumers, as demand theory predicts different elasticities for both conditions. However, in these studies, demand elasticity was only evaluated over the entirety of choices made from a budget. As compensating budgets changes the number of attainable commodities relative to uncompensated conditions, and thus the number of choices, it remained unclear whether budget compensation has a trivial effect on demand elasticity by simply sampling from a different total number of choices or has a direct effect on consumers' sequential choice structure. If the budget context independently changes choices between commodities over and above price effects, this should become apparent when demand elasticity is assessed over choice sets of any reasonable size that are matched in choice opportunities between budget conditions. To gain more detailed insight in the sequential choice dynamics underlying differences in demand elasticity between budget conditions, we trained N=8 rat consumers to spend a daily budget by making a number of nosepokes to obtain two liquid commodities under different price regimes, in sessions with and without budget compensation. We confirmed that demand elasticity for both commodities differed between compensated and uncompensated budget conditions, also when the number of choices considered was matched, and showed that these elasticity differences emerge early in the sessions. These differences in demand elasticity were driven by a higher choice rate and an increased reselection bias for the preferred commodity in compensated compared to uncompensated budget conditions, suggesting a budget context effect on relative valuation.

KW - Animals

KW - Behavior, Animal

KW - Choice Behavior

KW - Conditioning, Classical

KW - Male

KW - Rats

U2 - 10.1371/journal.pone.0129581

DO - 10.1371/journal.pone.0129581

M3 - Article

VL - 10

SP - e0129581

JO - PLoS ONE

JF - PLoS ONE

SN - 1932-6203

IS - 6

ER -