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Cheap Talk Reconsidered: New Evidence from CVM

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  • David Aadland
  • Arthur Caplan

Abstract

Two recent studies have shown that “cheap talk” is an effective means of eliminating positive hypothetical bias in experimental and field-auction settings. We further investigate the ability of cheap talk to mitigate positive hypothetical bias in a CVM phone survey administered to over 4,000 households. Positive hypothetical bias is first detected in our data by contrasting revealed and stated preference information. However, a short, neutral cheap-talk script appears to exacerbate rather than mitigate the bias. Based on this and mixed evidence from earlier studies, we suggest caution in using cheap talk as an ex ante control for hypothetical bias.

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File URL: ftp://repec.bus.usu.edu/RePEc/usu/pdf/ERI2002-20.pdf
File Function: First version, 2002
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Utah State University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2002-20.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:usu:wpaper:2002-20

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Keywords: Ncheap talk; contingent valuation; hypothetical bias;

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  1. Dickie, M. & Fisher, A. & Gerking, S.D., 1987. "Market transactions and hypothetical demand data: A comparative study," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-4628501, Tilburg University.
  2. David Aadland & Arthur J. Caplan, 2003. "Willingness to Pay for Curbside Recycling with Detection and Mitigation of Hypothetical Bias," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(2), pages 492-502.
  3. John C. Whitehead, 2002. "Incentive Incompatibility and Starting-Point Bias in Iterative Valuation Questions," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 78(2), pages 285-297.
  4. List, John A. & Shogren, Jason F., 1998. "Calibration of the difference between actual and hypothetical valuations in a field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 193-205, October.
  5. Brown, Thomas C. & Ajzen, Icek & Hrubes, Daniel, 2003. "Further tests of entreaties to avoid hypothetical bias in referendum contingent valuation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 353-361, September.
  6. Deborah Vaughn Nestor, 1998. "Policy Evaluation with Combined Actual and Contingent Response Data," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(2), pages 264-276.
  7. DeShazo, J. R., 2002. "Designing Transactions without Framing Effects in Iterative Question Formats," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 360-385, May.
  8. 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.
  9. Cameron, Trudy Ann & Poe, Gregory L. & Ethier, Robert G. & Schulze, William D., 2002. "Alternative Non-market Value-Elicitation Methods: Are the Underlying Preferences the Same?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 391-425, November.
  10. Adamowicz W. & Louviere J. & Williams M., 1994. "Combining Revealed and Stated Preference Methods for Valuing Environmental Amenities," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 271-292, May.
  11. Carson, Richard T. & Flores, Nicholas E. & Martin, Kerry M. & Wright, Jennifer L., 1995. "Contingent Valuation and Revealed Preference Methodologies: Comparing the Estimates for Quasi-Public Goods," 1995 Conference (39th), February 14-16, 1995, Perth, Australia 148793, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  12. Neill Helen R., 1995. "The Context for Substitutes in CVM Studies: Some Empirical Observations," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 393-397, November.
  13. Timothy C. Haab & Ju-Chin Huang & John C. Whitehead, 1999. "Are Hypothetical Referenda Incentive Compatible? A Comment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(1), pages 186-196, February.
  14. Gregory Poe & Jeremy Clark & Daniel Rondeau & William Schulze, 2002. "Provision Point Mechanisms and Field Validity Tests of Contingent Valuation," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 23(1), pages 105-131, September.
  15. 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.
  16. John Loomis & Thomas Brown & Beatrice Lucero & George Peterson, 1996. "Improving Validity Experiments of Contingent Valuation Methods: Results of Efforts to Reduce the Disparity of Hypothetical and Actual Willingness to Pay," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 72(4), pages 450-461.
  17. Laura O. Taylor & Ronald G. Cummings, 1999. "Unbiased Value Estimates for Environmental Goods: A Cheap Talk Design for the Contingent Valuation Method," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 649-665, June.
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