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A Field Experiment Involving Cash and Hypothetical Charitable Donations

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  • Douglas Macmillan

    ()

  • Trevor Smart
  • Andrew Thorburn
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    Abstract

    An important focus for concern about Contingent Valuation (CV) is that hypothetical payments for non-market goods are biased upwards in comparison to cash payments. Lack of realism, through its influence on incentives to mis-report payments, may explain the divergence. This paper reports on a study which attempts to overcome this problem by emulating a real fund-raising solicitation by the Isle of Eigg Trust for both real and hypothetical donations. In contrast to previous results, the mean cash donation was higher (£3.71) than the man CV donation (£3.41). A third survey, which used a neutral CV design, implemented by a research organization, obtained a mean donation which was much higher (£6.21) than the cash equivalent. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

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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): 14 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 3 (October)
    Pages: 399-412

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:14:y:1999:i:3:p:399-412

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

    Related research

    Keywords: bias; cash and hypothetical donations; contingent valuation; realism;

    References

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    1. Kealy, Mary Jo & Montgomery, Mark & Dovidio, John F., 1990. "Reliability and predictive validity of contingent values: Does the nature of the good matter?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 244-263, November.
    2. Champ, Patricia A. & Bishop, Richard C. & Brown, Thomas C. & McCollum, Daniel W., 1997. "Using Donation Mechanisms to Value Nonuse Benefits from Public Goods," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 151-162, June.
    3. Kalle Seip & Jon Strand, 1992. "Willingness to pay for environmental goods in Norway: A contingent valuation study with real payment," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(1), pages 91-106, January.
    4. Vivien Foster & Ian J. Bateman & David Harley, 1997. "Real And Hypothetical Willingness To Pay For Environmental Preservation: A Non-Experimental Comparison," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1-3), pages 123-137.
    5. Hoehn, John P. & Randall, Alan, 1987. "A satisfactory benefit cost indicator from contingent valuation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 226-247, September.
    6. Peter A. Diamond & Jerry A. Hausman, 1994. "Contingent Valuation: Is Some Number Better than No Number?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 45-64, Fall.
    7. John Loomis & Thomas Brown & Beatrice Lucero & George Peterson, 1996. "Improving Validity Experiments of Contingent Valuation Methods: Results of Efforts to Reduce the Disparity of Hypothetical and Actual Willingness to Pay," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 72(4), pages 450-461.
    8. Fischhoff, Baruch & Furby, Lita, 1988. " Measuring Values: A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Transactions with Special Reference to Contingent Valuation of Visibility," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 147-84, June.
    9. Carson, Richard T. & Hanemann, W. Michael, 2006. "Contingent Valuation," Handbook of Environmental Economics, in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 17, pages 821-936 Elsevier.
    10. Sinden, Jack A., 1988. "Empirical Tests Of Hypothetical Bias In Consumers' Surplus Surveys," Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 32(02-03).
    11. W. Michael Hanemann, 1994. "Valuing the Environment through Contingent Valuation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 19-43, Fall.
    12. Thomas C. Brown & Patricia A. Champ & Richard C. Bishop & Daniel W. McCollum, 1996. "Which Response Format Reveals the Truth about Donations to a Public Good?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 72(2), pages 152-166.
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    Cited by:
    1. MacMillan, Douglas & Hanley, Nick & Lienhoop, Nele, 2006. "Contingent valuation: Environmental polling or preference engine?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 299-307, November.
    2. Schlapfer, Felix, 2006. "Survey protocol and income effects in the contingent valuation of public goods: A meta-analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 415-429, May.
    3. Ken Belcher & Andrea Germann & Josef Schmutz, 2007. "Beef with environmental and quality attributes: Preferences of environmental group and general population consumers in Saskatchewan, Canada," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 333-342, September.
    4. Debra Israel, 2007. "Charitable Donations: Evidence of Demand for Environmental Protection?," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 171-182, May.
    5. Schlapfer, Felix & Roschewitz, Anna & Hanley, Nick, 2004. "Validation of stated preferences for public goods: a comparison of contingent valuation survey response and voting behaviour," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1-2), pages 1-16, November.
    6. Edward J. Lopez & W. Robert Nelson, 2005. "The Endowment Effect in a Public Good Experiment," Experimental 0512001, EconWPA.

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