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A Learning Design for Reducing Hypothetical Bias in the Contingent Valuation Method

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  • David Bjornstad
  • Ronald Cummings
  • Laura Osborne

    ()

Abstract

Over the last few years a great deal of research has focussed on hypothetical bias in value estimates obtained with the contingent valuation (CV) method and on means for ameliorating if not eliminating such bias. To date, efforts to eliminate hypothetical bias have relied on calibration techniques or on word-smithing of one kind or another to induce subjects to provide responses to hypothetical questions that mimic responses made by subjects facing actual payments in the valuation experiment. This paper introduces a different approach for eliminating hypothetical bias. A design for a CV survey format is presented which provides subjects with the opportunity to “learn” how the CV institution works. Sequential referenda are conducted where respondents gain experience in CV settings by participating in both hypothetical and real referenda. The logic of this Learning Design is a straightforward application of the trials process used in experimental economics. We demonstrate that the Learning Design is effective in eliminating hypothetical bias in surveys concerning donations to two different public goods. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental and Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 10 (1997)
Issue (Month): 3 (October)
Pages: 207-221

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Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:10:y:1997:i:3:p:207-221

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100263

Related research

Keywords: contingent valuation; hypothetical bias; experimental economics;

References

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  1. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  2. Fox, John A. & Shogren, J. & Hayes, Dermot J. & Kliebenstein, James, 2003. "Cvm-X: Calibrating Contingent Values with Experimental Auction Markets," Staff General Research Papers 11935, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  3. Brookshire, David S & Coursey, Don L, 1987. "Measuring the Value of a Public Good: An Empirical Comparison of Elicitation Procedures," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 554-66, September.
  4. Neill Helen R., 1995. "The Context for Substitutes in CVM Studies: Some Empirical Observations," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 393-397, November.
  5. Laura O. Taylor & Ronald G. Cummings, 1999. "Unbiased Value Estimates for Environmental Goods: A Cheap Talk Design for the Contingent Valuation Method," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 649-665, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Bosworth Ryan & Taylor Laura O., 2012. "Hypothetical Bias in Choice Experiments: Is Cheap Talk Effective at Eliminating Bias on the Intensive and Extensive Margins of Choice?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-28, December.
  2. Mikołaj Czajkowski & Marek Giergiczny & William H. Greene, 2012. "Learning and Fatigue Effects Revisited. The Impact of Accounting for Unobservable Preference and Scale Heterogeneity on Perceived Ordering Effects in Multiple Choice Task Discrete Choice Experiments," Working Papers 2012-08, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
  3. Rakesh Paliwal & Gejo Geevarghese & P. Ram Babu & P. Khanna, 1999. "Valuation of Landmass Degradation Using Fuzzy Hedonic Method: A Case Study of National Capital Region," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 14(4), pages 519-543, December.
  4. Anthony Burton & Katherine Carson & Susan Chilton & W. Hutchinson, 2007. "Resolving questions about bias in real and hypothetical referenda," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 38(4), pages 513-525, December.
  5. Eva Camacho-Cuena & Aurora García-Gallego & Nikolaos Georgantzís & Gerardo Sabater-Grande, 2004. "An Experimental Validation of Hypothetical WTP for a Recyclable Product," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 27(3), pages 313-335, March.
  6. Craig Landry & John List, 2007. "Using ex ante approaches to obtain credible signals for value in contingent markets: Evidence from the field," Framed Field Experiments 00168, The Field Experiments Website.
  7. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00462193 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Vondolia, Godwin K., 2011. "What do respondents bring into contingent valuation? A comparison of monetary and labour payment vehicles," Working Papers in Economics 508, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  9. Taylor, Laura O. & McKee, Michael & Laury, Susan K. & Cummings, Ronald G., 2001. "Induced-value tests of the referendum voting mechanism," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 61-65, April.
  10. Boyle, Kevin J. & Morrison, Mark & Taylor, Laura O., 2004. "Why Value Estimates Generated Using Choice Modelling Exceed Contingent Valuation: Further Experimental Evidence," 2004 Conference (48th), February 11-13, 2004, Melbourne, Australia 58370, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  11. Kelly Maguire & Laura Taylor & Shiferaw Gurmu, 2003. "Do students behave like adults? Evidence from valuation experiments," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(12), pages 753-756.
  12. Czap, Hans J. & Czap, Natalia V., 2011. "Donating-selling tradeoffs and the influence of leaders in the environmental goods game," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 743-752.
  13. Laura O. Taylor & Ronald G. Cummings, 1999. "Unbiased Value Estimates for Environmental Goods: A Cheap Talk Design for the Contingent Valuation Method," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 649-665, June.
  14. Ovchinnikova, Natalia V. & Czap, Hans J. & Lynne, Gary D. & Larimer, Christopher W., 2009. ""I don't want to be selling my soul": Two experiments in environmental economics," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 221-229, March.
  15. Mafalda Soeiro & Aurora A.C. Teixeira, 2010. "Determinants of higher education students’ willingness to pay for violent crime reduction: a contingent valuation study," FEP Working Papers 384, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  16. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00584247 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Nicolas Jacquemet & Alexander James & Stéphane Luchini & Jason Shogren, 2011. "Social Psychology and Environmental Economics: A New Look at ex ante Corrections of Biased Preference Evaluation," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 48(3), pages 413-433, March.
  18. Czap, Natalia V. & Czap, Hans J., 2010. "An experimental investigation of revealed environmental concern," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(10), pages 2033-2041, August.
  19. Liljas, Bengt & Blumenschein, Karen, 2000. "On hypothetical bias and calibration in cost-benefit studies," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 53-70, May.
  20. Ladenburg, Jacob & Olsen, Søren Bøye, 2008. "Gender-specific starting point bias in choice experiments: Evidence from an empirical study," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 275-285, November.
  21. Czap, Natalia V. & Czap, Hans J. & Khachaturyan, Marianna & Lynne, Gary D. & Burbach, Mark, 2012. "Walking in the shoes of others: Experimental testing of dual-interest and empathy in environmental choice," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 642-653.
  22. Vondolia, Godwin Kofi & Eggert, Hakan & Navrud, Stale & Stage, Jesper, 2011. "What Do Respondents Bring to Contingent Valuation? A Comparison of Monetary and Labor Payment Vehicles," Discussion Papers dp-11-13-efd, Resources For the Future.
  23. Radmehr, Mehrshad & Willis, Ken & Kenechi, Ugo Elinwa, 2014. "A framework for evaluating WTP for BIPV in residential housing design in developing countries: A case study of North Cyprus," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 207-216.

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