Does context matter more for hypothetical than for actual contributions? Evidence from a natural field experiment
AbstractWe investigate the importance of the social context for people’s voluntary contributions to a national park in Costa Rica, using a natural field experiment. Some subjects make actual contributions while others state their hypothetical contribution. Both the degree of anonymity and provided information about the contributions of others influence subject contributions in the hypothesized direction. We do find a substantial hypothetical bias with regard to the amount contributed. However, the influence of the social contexts is about the same when the subjects make actual monetary contributions as when they state theirhypothetical contributions. Our results have important implications for validity testing of stated preference methods: a comparison between hypothetical and actual behavior should be done for a given social context.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 251.
Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: 19 Apr 2007
Date of revision:
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Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
Phone: 031-773 10 00
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Environmental valuation; stated preference methods; voluntary contributions; anonymity; conformity; natural field experiment;
Other versions of this item:
- Francisco Alpizar & Fredrik Carlsson & Olof Johansson-Stenman, 2008. "Does context matter more for hypothetical than for actual contributions? Evidence from a natural field experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 299-314, September.
- C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
- Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-04-28 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2007-04-28 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-ENV-2007-04-28 (Environmental Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2007-04-28 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-RES-2007-04-28 (Resource Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2007-04-28 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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