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Virtual experiments and environmental policy

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  • Fiore, Stephen M.
  • Harrison, Glenn W.
  • Hughes, Charles E.
  • Rutstrm, E. Elisabet

Abstract

We develop the concept of virtual experiments and consider their application to environmental policy. A virtual experiment combines insights from virtual reality in computer science, naturalistic decision-making from psychology, and field experiments from economics. The environmental policy applications of interest to us are the valuation of wild fire management policies such as prescribed burn. The methodological objective of virtual experiments is to bridge the gap between the artefactual controls of laboratory experiments and the naturalistic domain of field experiments or direct field studies. This should provide tools for policy analysis that combine the inferential power of replicable experimental treatments with the natural "look and feel" of a field domain. We present data from an experiment comparing valuations elicited by virtual experiments to those elicited by instruments that have some of the characteristics of standard survey instruments, and conclude that responses in the former reflect beliefs that are closer to the truth.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

Volume (Year): 57 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 65-86

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:57:y:2009:i:1:p:65-86

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622870

Related research

Keywords: Virtual reality Field experiments Laboratory experiments Risk perception Subjective beliefs Wildfires Environmental policy;

References

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  1. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
  2. Vernon L. Smith, 2003. "Constructivist and Ecological Rationality in Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 465-508, June.
  3. Richard T. Carson & W. Michael Hanemann & Raymond J. Kopp & Jon A. Krosnick & Robert C. Mitchell & Stanley Presser & Paul A. Ruud & Smith, V. Kerry, 1995. "Referendum Design and Contingent Valuation: TheNOAA Panel's No-Vote Recommendation," Working Papers 95-17, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  4. Steffen Anderson & Glenn Harrison & Morten Lau & Rutstrom Elisabet, 2007. "Valuation using multiple price list formats," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(6), pages 675-682.
  5. Loomis, John B. & Le, Hung Trong & Gonzales-Caban, Armando, 2005. "Testing transferability of willingness to pay for forest fire prevention among three states of California, Florida and Montana," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 125-140, December.
  6. Steffen Andersen & Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau & E. Elisabet Rutström, 2008. "Eliciting Risk and Time Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(3), pages 583-618, 05.
  7. GlennW. Harrison & JohnA. List, 2008. "Naturally Occurring Markets and Exogenous Laboratory Experiments: A Case Study of the Winner's Curse," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 822-843, 04.
  8. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
  9. Hey, John D & Orme, Chris, 1994. "Investigating Generalizations of Expected Utility Theory Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1291-1326, November.
  10. Edward Castronova, 2004. "The Price of Bodies: A Hedonic Pricing Model of Avatar Attributes in a Synthetic World," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 173-196, 05.
  11. Glenn W. Harrison & Eric Johnson & Melayne M. McInnes & E. Elisabet Rutstr�m, 2005. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 897-901, June.
  12. John B. Loomis & Lucas S. Bair & Armando Gonz�lez-Cab�n, 2002. "Language-Related Differences in a Contingent Valuation Study: English Versus Spanish," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(4), pages 1091-1102.
  13. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
  14. Glenn Harrison, 2005. "Field experiments and control," Artefactual Field Experiments 00057, The Field Experiments Website.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Simone Cerroni & Sandra Notaro & W. Douglass Shaw, 2011. "Do Monetary Incentives and Chained Questions Affect the Validity of Risk Estimates Elicited via the Exchangeability Method? An Experimental Investigation," Department of Economics Working Papers 1110, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
  2. Cerroni, Simone & Notaro, Sandra & Shaw, W. Douglass, 2012. "Eliciting and estimating valid subjective probabilities: An experimental investigation of the exchangeability method," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 201-215.
  3. Sousa, Yannick Ferreira De & Munro, Alistair, 2012. "Truck, barter and exchange versus the endowment effect: Virtual field experiments in an online game environment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 482-493.
  4. Cerroni, Simone & Notaro, Sandra & Shaw, W. Douglass, 2012. "The validity of risk estimates elicited via the Exchangeability Method: An experimental investigation of consumers’ perceived health risks," Congress Papers 124100, Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA).
  5. Silva, Andres & Nayga, Rodolfo M., Jr. & Campbell, Benjamin L. & Park, John L., 2007. "On the Use of Valuation Mechanisms to Measure Consumers' Willingness to Pay for Novel Products: A Comparison of Hypothetical and Non-Hypothetical Values," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IAMA), vol. 10(02).
  6. Filippin, Antonio & Crosetto, Paolo, 2014. "A Reconsideration of Gender Differences in Risk Attitudes," IZA Discussion Papers 8184, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Fredrik Carlsson, 2010. "Design of Stated Preference Surveys: Is There More to Learn from Behavioral Economics?," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 46(2), pages 167-177, June.
  8. Cerroni, Simone & Notaro, Sandra & Shaw, W. Douglass, 2013. "How many bad apples are in a bunch? An experimental investigation of perceived pesticide residue risks," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 112-123.
  9. : Constantinos Antoniou & : Glenn W. Harrison & : Morten I. Lau & : Daniel Read, 2013. "Revealed Preference and the Strength/Weight Hypothesis," Working Papers wpn13-03, Warwick Business School, Finance Group.
  10. : Constantinos Antoniou & : Glenn W. Harrison & : Morten I. Lau & : Daniel Read, 2013. "Subjective Bayesian Beliefs," Working Papers wpn13-02, Warwick Business School, Finance Group.
  11. Bateman, Ian J. & Day, Brett H. & Jones, Andrew P. & Jude, Simon, 2009. "Reducing gain-loss asymmetry: A virtual reality choice experiment valuing land use change," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 106-118, July.
  12. Lübbe, Ingmar & Bolle, Friedel, 2011. "Who helps whom? Risk taking and solidarity in a virtual world experiment," Discussion Papers 310, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Department of Business Administration and Economics.
  13. Juan Camilo C�rdenas, 2009. "Experiments in Environment and Development," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 157-182, 09.

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