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The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth - A Multiple Country Test of an Oath Script

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Author Info

  • Carlsson, Fredrik

    ()
    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Kataria, Mitesh

    ()
    (Max Planck Institute of Economics)

  • Krupnick, Alan

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

  • Lampi, Elina

    ()
    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Löfgren, Åsa

    ()
    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Qin, Ping

    ()
    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Sterner, Thomas

    ()
    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Chung, Susie

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

Abstract

Hypothetical bias is one of the main issues bedeviling the field of nonmarket valuation. The general criticism is that survey responses reflect how people would like to behave, rather than how they actually behave. In our study of climate change and emissions reductions, we took advantage of the increasing bulk of evidence from psychology and economics that addresses the effects of making promises, in order to investigate the effect of an oath script in a contingent valuation survey. The survey was conducted in Sweden and China, and its results indicate that an oath script has significant effects on respondent behavior in answering willingness-to-pay (WTP) questions, some of which vary by country. In both countries, the share of zero WTP responses and extremely high WTP responses decreases when an oath script is used, which also results in lower variance. In China, the oath script also reduces the average WTP, cutting it by half in certain instances. We also found that the oath script has different impacts on various respondent groups. For example, without the oath script, Communist party members in China are more likely than others to have a positive WTP for emissions reductions, but with the oath script, there is no longer any difference between the groups.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 473.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 12 Nov 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as Carlsson, Fredrik, Mitesh Kataria, Alan Krupnick, Elina Lampi, Åsa Löfgren, Ping Qin, Thomas Sterner and Susie Chung, 'The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth - A Multiple Country Test of an Oath Script' in Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2013, pages 105-121.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0473

Contact details of provider:
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
Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/
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Keywords: Oath script; hypothetical bias; willingness to pay;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Hermann Pythagore Pierre Donfouet & Pierre-Alexandre Mahieu & Eric Malin, 2011. "Using Respondents’ Uncertainty Scores to Mitigate Hypothetical Bias in Community-Based Health Insurance Studies," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201129, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.

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