The Economics of Color: A Null Result

Ben Greiner, Marianne Stephanides

Publication: Working/Discussion PaperWU Working Paper

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Color research has a long tradition in psychology, consumer behavior, and marketing research. The literature suggests that exposure to colors influences mood and emotions of humans as well as their attitudes towards products. This paper makes two contributions. First, we review the existing literature in science and psychology on the effects of environmental colors (red and blue) on physiological functions, mood, and consumer/economic decision-making, insofar it may be potentially relevant to experimental and behavioral economists. Second, we conduct a laboratory experiment with a typical experimental economics subject pool testing the effects of environmental colors red and blue on decision-making in an incentivized Ultimatum Game experiment. We find no statistically significant effect. However, we also cannot replicate previous results of exposure to colors red and blue on mood as measured by established questionnaire instruments. Our results suggest that experimental economists do not need to worry about the potential confound of colors in economic decision-making.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationVienna
PublisherWU Vienna University of Economics and Business
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

SeriesDepartment of Strategy and Innovation Working Paper Series

WU Working Paper Series

  • Department of Strategy and Innovation Working Paper Series

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