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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 1 - 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

    ()
    (Departement of Economics and Finance, University of Wyoming - University of Wyoming)

Abstract

Eliciting sincere preferences for non-market goods remain a challenge due to the discrepency between hypothetical and real behavior and false zeros. 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 solemn 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. The oath is an ancillary mechanism to commit bidders to bid sincerely in a second-price auction. Results from our induced valuation testbed treatments suggest that the oath-only auctions outperform all our other auctions (real and hypothetical). In our homegrown valuation treatments eliciting preferences for dolphin protection, the oath-only design induced people to treat as binding both their experimental budget constraint (i.e., lower values on the high end of the value distribution) and participation constraint (i.e., positive values in place of the zero bids used to opt-out of auction). Based on companion treatments, we show the oath works through an increase in the willingness to tell the truth, due to a strengthening of the intrinsic motivation to do so.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HAL in its series Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) with number halshs-00731244.

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Date of creation: Jan 2013
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Publication status: Published, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 2013, 65, 1, 110-132
Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00731244

Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00731244
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Related research

Keywords: Oath; Commitment; Vickrey auction; Hypothetical bias; Induced values; Homegrown values;

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References

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  9. Nicolas Jacquemet & Alexander James & Stephane Luchini & Jason Shogren, 2010. "Referenda under Oath," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00490448, HAL.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jacquemet, Nicolas & Joule, Robert-Vincent & Luchini, Stéphane & Shogren, Jason F., 2009. "Earned wealth, engaged bidders? Evidence from a second-price auction," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 36-38, October.
  2. Mitesh Kataria & Fabian Winter, 2012. "Third Party Assessments in Trust Problems with Conflict of Interest: An Experiment on the Effects of Promises," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-067, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  3. 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 124834, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  4. Fredrik Carlsson & Mitesh Kataria & Alan Krupnick & Elina Lampi & Asa Löfgren & Ping Qin & Thomas Sterner & Susie Chung, 2010. "The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth A Multiple Country Test of an Oath Script," Jena Economic Research Papers 2010-076, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  5. Kling, Catherine Louise, 2012. "From Exxon to BP: Has Some Number Become Better than No Number?," Staff General Research Papers 35576, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Stachtiaris, Spiros & Drichoutis, Andreas & Nayga, Rodolfo & Klonaris, Stathis, 2011. "Can religious priming induce truthful preference revelation?," MPRA Paper 34433, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Banerjee, Prasenjit & Shogren, Jason F., 2014. "Bidding behavior given point and interval values in a second-price auction," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 126-137.
  10. Drichoutis, Andreas & Lusk, Jayson & Nayga, Rodolfo, 2013. "The veil of experimental currency units," MPRA Paper 46906, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Shogren, Jason F., 2012. "WAEA Keynote Address Behavioral Environmental Economics: Money Pumps & Nudges," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 37(3), December.

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