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What Are the Consequences of Consequentiality?

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  • Herriges, Joseph A.
  • Kling, Catherine L.
  • Liu, Chih-Chen
  • Tobias, Justin

Abstract

We offer an empirical test of a theoretical result in the contingent valuation literature. Specifically, it has been argued from a theoretical point of view that survey participants who perceive a survey to be ``consequential'' will respond to questions truthfully regardless of the degree of perceived consequentiality. Using survey data from the Iowa Lakes Project, we test this supposition. Specifically, we employ a Bayesian treatment effect model in which the degree of perceived consequentiality, measured as an ordinal response, is permitted to have a structural impact on willingness to pay (WTP) for a hypothetical environmental improvement. We test the theory by determining if the WTP distributions are the same for each value of the ordinal response. In our survey data, a subsample of individuals were randomly assigned supporting information suggesting that their responses to the questionnaires were important and will have an impact on policy decisions. In conjunction with a Bayesian posterior simulator, we use this source of exogenous variation to identify the structural impacts of consequentiality perceptions on willingness to pay, while controlling for the potential of confounding on unobservables. We find evidence consistent with the ``knife-edge'' theoretical results, namely that the willingness to pay distributions are equal among those believing the survey to be at least minimally consequential, and different for those believing that the survey is irrelevant for policy purposes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 13034.

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Date of creation: 05 Mar 2009
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 2010, vol. 59 no. 1, pp. 67-81
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:13034

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Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
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Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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Keywords: nonmarket valuation;

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References

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  1. Craig E. Landry & John A. List, 2007. "Using Ex Ante Approaches to Obtain Credible Signals for Value in Contingent Markets: Evidence from the Field," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(2), pages 420-429.
  2. Herriges, Joseph A. & Kling, Catherine L. & Liu, Chih-Chen & Tobias, Justin, 2009. "What Are the Consequences of Consequentiality?," Staff General Research Papers 13034, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  3. Kai, Li, 1998. "Bayesian inference in a simultaneous equation model with limited dependent variables," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 387-400, August.
  4. Shogren, Jason F. & Parkhurst, Gregory M. & McIntosh, Christopher, 2006. "Second-price auction tournament," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 99-107, July.
  5. Cummings, Ronald G, et al, 1997. "Are Hypothetical Referenda Incentive Compatible?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(3), pages 609-21, June.
  6. 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.
  7. Bulte, E.H. & Gerking, S.D. & List, J.A. & Zeeuw, A.J. de, 2005. "The effect of varying the causes of environmental problems on stated values: Evidence from a field study," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-167602, Tilburg University.
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Citations

RePEc Biblio mentions

As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
  1. > Environmental and Natural Resource Economics > Environmental Economics > Valuation > Contingent valuation method > Hypothetical bias
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Timothy C. Haab & Matthew G. Interis & Daniel R. Petrolia & John C. Whitehead, 2013. "From Hopeless to Curious? Thoughts on Hausman’s “Dubious to Hopeless” Critique of Contingent Valuation," Working Papers 13-07, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
  3. Herriges, Joseph & Kling, Catherine & Liu, Chih-Chen & Tobias, Justin, 2010. "What are the consequences of consequentiality?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 67-81, January.
  4. Cai, Beilei & Cameron, Trudy Ann & Gerdes, Geoffrey R., 2011. "Distal order effects in stated preference surveys," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(6), pages 1101-1108, April.
  5. Christian A. Vossler & Maurice Doyon & Daniel Rondeau, 2012. "Truth in Consequentiality: Theory and Field Evidence on Discrete Choice Experiments," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 145-71, November.
  6. Vossler, Christian & Watson, Sharon, 2012. "Understanding the consequences of consequentiality: Testing the validity of stated preferences in the field," MPRA Paper 48109, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Craig D. Broadbent, 2012. "Hypothetical Bias, Consequentiality and Choice Experiments," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(3), pages 2490-2499.
  8. Van Houtven, George & Mansfield, Carol & Phaneuf, Daniel J. & von Haefen, Roger & Milstead, Bryan & Kenney, Melissa A. & Reckhow, Kenneth H., 2014. "Combining expert elicitation and stated preference methods to value ecosystem services from improved lake water quality," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 40-52.
  9. 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.
  10. Hermann Donfouet & Ephias Makaudze & Pierre-Alexandre Mahieu & Eric Malin, 2011. "The determinants of the willingness-to-pay for community-based prepayment scheme in rural Cameroon," International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 209-220, September.
  11. Petrolia, Daniel R. & Interis, Matthew G. & Hwang, Joonghyun, 2013. "America’s Wetland? A National Survey of Willingness to Pay for Restoration of Louisiana’s Coastal Wetlands," 2013 Annual Meeting, February 2-5, 2013, Orlando, Florida 142305, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
  12. Poe, Gregory L. & Vossler, Christian A., 2009. "Consequentiality and contingent values: an emerging paradigm," MPRA Paper 38864, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Dominique Ami & Frédéric Aprahamian & Olivier Chanel & Stéphane Luchini, 2011. "A Test of Cheap Talk in Different Hypothetical Contexts: The Case of Air Pollution," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 50(1), pages 111-130, September.
  14. Franceschi, Dina & Vásquez, William F., 2011. "Do Supervisors Affect the Valuation of Public Goods?," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 40(2), August.

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