Two essays on behavioral decision making
In the first chapter of this dissertation, I explore human biases in judgment under uncertainty as an explanation for non-optimal performance in financial decisions. A quasi-experimental procedure (involving a simulated financial market) produced support for the existence of the disposition effect among ninety-seven educated investors in Venezuela who had been drawn from a sample of MBA students and professional investors. As related studies have also shown, the results provided no useful support for explanations of this effect in terms of socio-economical variables, demographic characteristics, or previous investing experience. In the second chapter of this dissertation, I explore human biases in judgment under uncertainty as an explanation for non-optimal performance in supply chains. Through administration of a well-known individual-group task (the Beer Game) among undergraduate students and business executives, I found support for the influence of managerial experience and gender on the bullwhip effect (amplified order variability along the supply chain), but no empirical support for the role of academic background (i.e., profession). From a sample of physicians (hospital directors) and non-health care managers, I found support against the usual practice of relying on specialized professionals to manage supply chains.