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Willingness-To-Pay, Compensating Variation, and the Cost of Commitment

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  • Zhao, Jinhua
  • Kling, Catherine L.

Abstract

Hicksian welfare theory is static in nature, but many decisions are made in a dynamic environment. We present a dynamic model of an agent's decision to purchase or sell a good under the realistic conditions of uncertainty, irreversibility, and learning over time. Her willingness to pay (WTP) contains both the intrinsic value of the good as in Hicksian theory plus a commitment cost associated with delaying to obtain more information. The Hicksian equivalence between WTP/Willingness to accept (WTA) and compensating and equivalent variations no longer holds. The WTP and WTA divergence may arise and observed WTP values are not always appropriate for welfare analysis.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 1875.

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Date of creation: 01 Jul 2004
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Publication status: Published in Economic Inquiry, July 2004, vol. 42 no. 3, pp. 503-517
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:1875

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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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Cited by:
  1. Jinhua Zhao & Catherine L. Kling, 2002. "Environmental Valuation under Dynamic," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 02-wp292, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
  2. Catherine L. Kling & John A. List & Jinhua Zhao, 2010. "A Dynamic Explanation of the Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Accept Disparity," NBER Working Papers 16483, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jay Corrigan, 2005. "Is the Experimental Auction a Dynamic Market?," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 31(1), pages 35-45, 05.
  4. Zhao, Jinhua & Kling, Catherine L., 2006. "Environmental Valuation Under Dynamic Consumer Behavior," Staff General Research Papers 2106, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  5. van Exel, N.J.A. & Brouwer, W.B.F. & van den Berg, B. & Koopmanschap, M.A., 2006. "With a little help from an anchor: Discussion and evidence of anchoring effects in contingent valuation," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 836-853, October.
  6. Zhao, Jinhua & Kling, Catherine L., 2001. "A new explanation for the WTP/WTA disparity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 293-300, December.
  7. Baylis, Katherine R. & Vercammen, James, 2006. "Scientific Uncertainty and Climate Change Policy," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21267, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  8. Carson, Richard T. & Hanemann, W. Michael, 2006. "Contingent Valuation," Handbook of Environmental Economics, in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 17, pages 821-936 Elsevier.
  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. Nababan, Tongam Sihol & Simanjuntak, Juara, 2008. "Aplikasi Willingness To Pay Sebagai Proksi Terhadap Variabel Harga: Suatu Model Empirik Dalam Estimasi Permintaan Energi Listrik Rumah Tangga
    [The Application of Willingness To Pay As A Proxy To Va
    ," MPRA Paper 49155, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Jay R. Corrigan & Catharine L. Kling & Jinhua Zhao, 2006. "The Dynamic Formation of Willingness to Pay: An Empirical Specification and Test," Working Papers 0603, Kenyon College, Department of Economics.
  12. Laurent Muller & Bernard Ruffieux, 2011. "Do price-tags influence consumers’ willingness to pay? On the external validity of using auctions for measuring value," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 181-202, May.
  13. Lusk, Jayson L. & Norwood, F. Bailey, 2009. "Bridging the gap between laboratory experiments and naturally occurring markets: An inferred valuation method," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 236-250, September.
  14. Adamowicz, Wiktor L., 2004. "What's it worth? An examination of historical trends and future directions in environmental valuation," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 48(3), September.
  15. Krüger, Niclas A. & Svensson, Mikael, 2009. "The impact of real options on willingness to pay for mortality risk reductions," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 563-569, May.
  16. Jay Corrigan & Catherine Kling & Jinhua Zhao, 2008. "Willingness to Pay and the Cost of Commitment: An Empirical Specification and Test," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 40(2), pages 285-298, June.

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