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Preference Elicitation under Oath

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  • Nicolas Jacquemet

    ()
    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)

  • Robert-Vincent Joule

    ()
    (LPS-AIX - Laboratoire de Psychologie Sociale - Université de Provence - Aix-Marseille I : EA849)

  • Stephane Luchini

    ()
    (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II - Université Paul Cézanne - Aix-Marseille III - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - CNRS : UMR7316)

  • Jason Shogren

    ()
    (University of Wyoming - Department of Economics and Finance, Umeå University - Department of Economics)

Abstract

Eliciting sincere preferences for non-market goods remains a challenge due to hypothetical bias - the so-called gap between hypothetical monetary values and real economic commitments. The gap arises because people either overstate hypothetical values or understate real commitments or a combination of both. Herein we examine whether the traditional real-world institution of the solenn oath can improve preference elicitation. Applying the social psychology theory on the oath as a truth-telling-commitment device, we ask our bidders to swear on their honour to give honest answers prior to participating in an incentive-compatible second-price auction. Results from our induced valuation testbed treatments suggest the oath-only auctions outperform all other auctions (real, hypothetical, and real-with-oath). In our homegrown valuation treatments eliciting preferences for dolphin protection, the oath-only design induced people to treat as binding both their budget constraint (i.e., lower values on the high end of the value distribution) and participation constraint (i.e., positive values rather than zero bids used to opt out of auction). Our oath-only results are robust to extra training on the auction and to consequential wording about the reason for the oath.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) with number halshs-00396721.

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Date of creation: Jun 2009
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Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00396721

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Keywords: Oath; commitment; Vickrey auction; hypothetical bias; induced values; homegrown values.;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Nicolas Jacquemet & Robert-Vincent Joule & Stephane Luchini & Jason Shogren, 2009. "Earned wealth, engaged bidders? Evidence from a second price auction," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers), HAL halshs-00429894, HAL.
  2. Stachtiaris, Spiros & Drichoutis, Andreas & Nayga, Rodolfo & Klonaris, Stathis, 2011. "Can religious priming induce truthful preference revelation?," MPRA Paper 34433, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Kataria, Mitesh & Winter, Fabian, 2013. "Third party assessments in trust problems with conflict of interest: An experiment on the effects of promises," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 120(1), pages 53-56.
  4. Alec Smith & B. Douglas Bernheim & Colin Camerer & Antonio Rangel, 2013. "Neural Activity Reveals Preferences Without Choices," NBER Working Papers 19270, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Carlsson, Fredrik & Kataria, Mitesh & Krupnick, Alan & Lampi, Elina & Löfgren, Åsa & Qin, Ping & Sterner, Thomas, 2013. "The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth—A multiple country test of an oath script," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 105-121.
  6. 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, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-28, December.
  7. Banerjee, Prasenjit & Shogren, Jason F., 2014. "Bidding behavior given point and interval values in a second-price auction," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 126-137.
  8. de Magistris, Tiziana & Pascucci, Stefano, 2012. "Consumers´ preferences for the millennium bugs. Does “solemn oath” mitigate the hypothetical bias in choice experiment?," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association 124834, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  9. Shogren, Jason F., 2012. "WAEA Keynote Address Behavioral Environmental Economics: Money Pumps & Nudges," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 37(3), December.
  10. Catherine L. Kling & Daniel J. Phaneuf & Jinhua Zhao, 2012. "From Exxon to BP: Has Some Number Become Better Than No Number?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 26(4), pages 3-26, Fall.
  11. Drichoutis, Andreas & Lusk, Jayson & Nayga, Rodolfo, 2013. "The veil of experimental currency units," MPRA Paper 46906, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Loomis, John B., 2014. "2013WAEA Keynote Address: Strategies for Overcoming Hypothetical Bias in Stated Preference Surveys," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 39(1), April.
  13. B. Douglas Bernheim & Daniel Bjorkegren & Jeffrey Naecker & Antonio Rangel, 2013. "Do Hypothetical Choices and Non-Choice Ratings Reveal Preferences?," NBER Working Papers 19269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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