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Measuring Hypothetical Bias in Choice Experiments: The Importance of Cognitive Consistency

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  • Johansson-Stenman Olof

    ()
    (University of Gothenburg)

  • Svedsäter Henrik

    ()
    (London Business School)

Abstract

A choice experiment eliciting environmental values with both real and hypothetical trade-offs is set up in order to test for hypothetical bias. A larger hypothetical bias was found in a between-subject than in a within-subject design, using otherwise identical scenarios, which can explain previous diverging results in the literature. We argue that people strive for consistency between their attitudes and behaviors, leading them to act in ways that correspond with their prior hypothetical statements. People hence seem to prefer to do what they say they would do, although this may not always reflect their true preferences regarding the good being valued.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.

Volume (Year): 8 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
Pages: 1-10

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:8:y:2008:i:1:n:41

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Cited by:
  1. Frederik Carlsson & Mitesh Kataria & Alan Krupnick & Elina Lampi & Åsa Löfgren & Ping Qin & Thomas Sterner & S. Chung, 2010. "A Fair Share - Burden-Sharing Preferences in the United States and China," Jena Economic Research Papers 2010-074, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  2. Johansson-Stenman, Olof & Svedsäter, Henrik, 2012. "Self-image and valuation of moral goods: Stated versus actual willingness to pay," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 879-891.
  3. Krawczyk, Michał, 2012. "Testing for hypothetical bias in willingness to support a reforestation program," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 282-289.
  4. Scharf, Kim; Smith, Sarah, 2010. "Rational Inattention to Subsidies for Charitable Contributions," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 02, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  5. Søren Olsen & Thomas Lundhede & Jette Jacobsen & Bo Thorsen, 2011. "Tough and Easy Choices: Testing the Influence of Utility Difference on Stated Certainty-in-Choice in Choice Experiments," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 49(4), pages 491-510, August.
  6. Craig E. Landry & Paul Hindsley & Okmyung Bin & Jamie B. Kruse & John C. Whitehead & Ken Wilson, 2011. "Weathering the Storm: Measuring Household Willingness-to-Pay for Risk-Reduction in Post-Katrina New Orleans," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 991-1013, April.
  7. Carlsson, Fredrik, 2009. "Design of stated preference surveys: Is there more to learn from behavioral economics?," Working Papers in Economics 418, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  8. Moser, Riccarda & Raffaelli, Roberta & Notaro, Sandra, 2010. "The Role Of Production Methods In Fruit Purchasing Behaviour: Hypothetical Vs Actual Consumers’ Preferences And Stated Minimum Requirements," 115th Joint EAAE/AAEA Seminar, September 15-17, 2010, Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany 116426, European Association of Agricultural Economists & Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  9. Jacob Ladenburg & Jens Olav Dahlgaard & Ole Bonnichsen, 2010. "Testing the Effect of a Short Cheap Talk Script in Choice Experiments," IFRO Working Paper 2010/11, University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics.
  10. Frode Alfnes & Chengyan Yue & Helen H. Jensen, 2009. "Cognitive Dissonance as a Means of Reducing Hypothetical Bias," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 09-wp486, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
  11. Shi, Lijia & House, Lisa & Gao, Zhifeng, 2011. "Consumer WTP for Blueberry Attributes: A Hierarchical Bayesian Approach in the WTP Space," 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 103524, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  12. Carlsson, Fredrik & García, Jorge H. & Löfgren, Åsa, 2008. "Conformity and the demand for environmental goods," Working Papers in Economics 286, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.

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