Consistency and fungibility of monetary valuations in transport: An empirical analysis of framing and mental accounting effects
AbstractGovernments around the world use monetised values of transport externalities to undertake project appraisal and cost–benefit analysis. However, because different types of benefits are monetised (e.g., travel time savings, preventing statistical fatalities, reliability, etc.) the question naturally arises as to whether they are consistent. That is, whether a “dollar is a dollar” as welfare economics requires, or whether spending money in one area carries a different disutility from spending money in another area. This would equate to a violation of fungibility, which is the property of a good or a commodity whose individual units are capable of mutual substitution. The view that money is not fungible is explained in behavioural economics through theories of framing and mental accounting. This paper describes the results of a stated choice experiment designed to test the fungibility and consistency of monetary valuations in transport. From a nationally representative sample, we elicit direct values for the three pairwise trade-offs between travel time, travel cost, and safety. We then show that in the context of our analysis, any trade-offs inferred on the basis of other trade-offs, as is common practice (e.g. inferring a safety vs time trade-off on the basis of monetary valuations for time and safety), produces biased results, suggesting that the assumption of fungibility does not hold. Specifically, we find that time is valued more highly when valued directly by cost than when traded with safety, and the reverse is true for safety.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice.
Volume (Year): 46 (2012)
Issue (Month): 10 ()
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/547/description#description
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Read, Daniel & Loewenstein, George & Rabin, Matthew, 1999. "Choice Bracketing," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 171-97, December.
- Kenneth Train, 2003.
"Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation,"
Online economics textbooks,
SUNY-Oswego, Department of Economics, number emetr2.
- Heath, Chip & Soll, Jack B, 1996. " Mental Budgeting and Consumer Decisions," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 40-52, June.
- Tversky, Amos & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Anomalies: Preference Reversals," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 201-11, Spring.
- Shafir, Eldar & Thaler, Richard H., 2006. "Invest now, drink later, spend never: On the mental accounting of delayed consumption," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 694-712, October.
- Richard H. Thaler, 2008.
"Mental Accounting and Consumer Choice,"
INFORMS, vol. 27(1), pages 15-25, 01-02.
- Jones-Lee, M W & Hammerton, M & Philips, P R, 1985. "The Value of Safety: Results of a National Sample Survey," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(377), pages 49-72, March.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.