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Using ex ante approaches to obtain credible signals for value in contingent markets: Evidence from the field

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  • Craig Landry
  • John List

Abstract

While contingent valuation remains the only option available for measurement of total economic value of nonmarketed goods, the method has been criticized due to its hypothetical nature. We analyze field experimental data to evaluate two ex ante approaches to attenuating hypothetical bias, directly comparing value statements across four distinct referenda: hypothetical, “cheap talk,†“consequential,†and real. Our empirical evidence suggests two major findings: hypothetical responses are significantly different from real responses; and responses in the consequential and cheap talk treatments are statistically indistinguishable from real responses. We review the potential for each method to produce reliable results in the field.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Field Experiments Website in its series Framed Field Experiments with number 00168.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:feb:framed:00168

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Web page: http://www.fieldexperiments.com

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  1. Bulte, Erwin & Gerking, Shelby & List, John A. & de Zeeuw, Aart, 2005. "The effect of varying the causes of environmental problems on stated WTP values: evidence from a field study," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 330-342, March.
  2. David Bjornstad & Ronald Cummings & Laura Osborne, 1997. "A Learning Design for Reducing Hypothetical Bias in the Contingent Valuation Method," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 10(3), pages 207-221, October.
  3. Carson, Richard T & Groves, Theodore, 2010. "Incentive and Information Properties of Preference Questions," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt88d8644g, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  4. Smith, V. Kerry & Mansfield, Carol, 1996. "Buying Time: Real and Hypothetical Offers," Working Papers 96-04, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  5. 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.
  6. Poe, Gregory L. & Clark, Jeremy & Schulze, William D., 1997. "Can Hypothetical, Questions Predict Actual, Participation In Public Programs? A Field Validity Test Using A Provision Point Mechanism," Working Papers 7264, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  7. Taylor, Laura O., 1998. "Incentive Compatible Referenda And The Valuation Of Environmental Goods," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 27(2), October.
  8. List, John A. & Shogren, Jason F., 2002. "Calibration of Willingness-to-Accept," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 219-233, March.
  9. John A. List, 2001. "Do Explicit Warnings Eliminate the Hypothetical Bias in Elicitation Procedures? Evidence from Field Auctions for Sportscards," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1498-1507, December.
  10. Fox, John A. & Shogren, Jason F. & Hayes, Dermot J. & Kliebenstein, James, 1998. "Cvm-X: Calibrating Contingent Values with Experimental Auction Markets," Staff General Research Papers 1311, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  11. 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.
  12. Dan Ariely & George Loewenstein & Drazen Prelec, 2003. ""Coherent Arbitrariness": Stable Demand Curves Without Stable Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 73-105, February.
  13. Powe, N.A. & Garrod, G.D. & McMahon, P.L., 2005. "Mixing methods within stated preference environmental valuation: choice experiments and post-questionnaire qualitative analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 513-526, March.
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