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Mitigating the Hypothetical Bias of Willingness to Pay: A Comparison of Ex-Ante and Ex-Post Approaches

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Author Info

  • John C. Whitehead

    ()
    (Appalachian State University)

  • Todd L. Cherry

    ()
    (Appalachian State University)

Abstract

The most persistently troubling empirical result in the contingent valuation method literature is the tendency for hypothetical willingness to pay to overestimate real willingness to pay. Two approaches, ex-ante and ex-post, have been developed to mitigate or eliminate the overstatement of hypothetical willingness to pay. The ex-ante approach addresses hypothetical bias in the survey design stage while the ex-post approach addresses hypothetical bias with follow-up questions to the hypothetical willingness to pay question. We find that willingness to pay estimates are similar when either the ex-ante or ex-post approach is employed. We argue the approaches should be considered as complements and not substitutes. Employing both approaches to mitigate hypothetical bias we estimate that the annual benefits of the regional amenities associated with a green energy program in North Carolina are $186 million.

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File URL: http://econ.appstate.edu/RePEc/pdf/wp0421.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Appalachian State University in its series Working Papers with number 04-21.

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Length:
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:apl:wpaper:04-21

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Thelma C. Raley Hall, Boone, North Carolina 28608
Phone: 828-262-2148
Fax: 828-262-6105
Web page: http://www.business.appstate.edu/departments/economics/
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Related research

Keywords: Hypothetical Bias; Willingness to Pay; Green Energy;

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References

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  1. Glenn Harrison, 2006. "Experimental Evidence on Alternative Environmental Valuation Methods," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 34(1), pages 125-162, 05.
  2. Rose, Steven K. & Clark, Jeremy & Poe, Gregory L. & Rondeau, Daniel & Schulze, William D., 2002. "The private provision of public goods: tests of a provision point mechanism for funding green power programs," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 131-155, February.
  3. Lusk, Jayson L., 2002. "Effects Of Cheap Talk On Consumer Willingness-To-Pay For Golden Rice," 2002 Annual meeting, July 28-31, Long Beach, CA 19597, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  4. Karen Blumenschein & GlennC. Blomquist & Magnus Johannesson & Nancy Horn & Patricia Freeman, 2008. "Eliciting Willingness to Pay Without Bias: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(525), pages 114-137, 01.
  5. Gregory Poe & Jeremy Clark & Daniel Rondeau & William Schulze, 2002. "Provision Point Mechanisms and Field Validity Tests of Contingent Valuation," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 23(1), pages 105-131, September.
  6. 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.
  7. Trudy Ann Cameron, 1991. "Interval Estimates of Non-Market Resource Values from Referendum Contingent Valuation Surveys," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 67(4), pages 413-421.
  8. Brown, Thomas C. & Ajzen, Icek & Hrubes, Daniel, 2003. "Further tests of entreaties to avoid hypothetical bias in referendum contingent valuation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 353-361, September.
  9. Blumenschein, Karen & Johannesson, Magnus & Yokoyama, Krista K. & Freeman, Patricia R., 2001. "Hypothetical versus real willingness to pay in the health care sector: results from a field experiment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 441-457, May.
  10. Cummings, Ronald G & Harrison, Glenn W & Rutstrom, E Elisabet, 1995. "Homegrown Values and Hypothetical Surveys: Is the Dichotomous Choice Approach Incentive-Compatible?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 260-66, March.
  11. John List & Craig Gallet, 2001. "What Experimental Protocol Influence Disparities Between Actual and Hypothetical Stated Values?," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 20(3), pages 241-254, November.
  12. Karen Blumenschein & Magnus Johannesson & Glenn C. Blomquist & Bengt Liljas & Richard M. O’Conor, 1998. "Experimental Results on Expressed Certainty and Hypothetical Bias in Contingent Valuation," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(1), pages 169-177, July.
  13. David Aadland & Arthur J. Caplan, 2003. "Willingness to Pay for Curbside Recycling with Detection and Mitigation of Hypothetical Bias," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(2), pages 492-502.
  14. 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.
  15. Blumenschein, Karen & Johannesson, Magnus & Blomquist, Glenn C. & Liljas, Bengt & O'Conor, Richard M., 1997. "Hypothetical versus real payments in Vickrey auctions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 177-180, October.
  16. Cameron, Trudy Ann, 1988. "A new paradigm for valuing non-market goods using referendum data: Maximum likelihood estimation by censored logistic regression," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 355-379, September.
  17. Johannesson, Magnus, et al, 1999. "Calibrating Hypothetical Willingness to Pay Responses," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 21-32, April.
  18. 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.
  19. Loomis, John & Ekstrand, Earl, 1998. "Alternative approaches for incorporating respondent uncertainty when estimating willingness to pay: the case of the Mexican spotted owl," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 29-41, October.
  20. Christian A. Vossler & Robert G. Ethier & Gregory L. Poe & Michael P. Welsh, 2003. "Payment Certainty in Discrete Choice Contingent Valuation Responses: Results from a Field Validity Test," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 69(4), pages 886-902, April.
  21. Cummings, Ronald G, et al, 1997. "Are Hypothetical Referenda Incentive Compatible?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(3), pages 609-21, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Peter A. Groothuis & Jana D. Groothuis & John C. Whitehead, 2006. "The Willingness to Pay to Remove Billboards and Improve Mountain Views," Working Papers 06-04, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
  2. Peter A. Groothuis & Jana D. Groothuis & John C. Whitehead, 2007. "Green vs. Green: Measuring the Compensation Required to Site Electrical Generation Windmills in a Viewshed," Working Papers 07-12, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
  3. John C. Whitehead & Peter A. Groothuis & Rob Southwick, 2007. "Linking Recreation Demand and Willingness to Pay with the Inclusive Value: Valuation of Saginaw Bay Coastal Marsh," Working Papers 07-09, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
  4. Groothuis, Peter A. & Whitehead, John C., 2009. "The Provision Point Mechanism and Scenario Rejection in Contingent Valuation," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 38(2), October.
  5. John C. Whitehead & Peter A. Groothuis & Rob Southwick & Pat Foster-Turley, 2006. "Economic Values of Saginaw Bay Coastal Marshes," Working Papers 06-10, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
  6. John C. Whitehead, 2006. "Willingness to Pay for Low Probability, Low Loss Hazard Insurance," Working Papers 06-08, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
  7. repec:ags:mareec:118689 is not listed on IDEAS

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