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Truth in Consequentiality: Theory and Field Evidence on Discrete Choice Experiments

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  • Christian A. Vossler
  • Maurice Doyon
  • Daniel Rondeau

Abstract

This paper explores methodological issues surrounding the use of discrete choice experiments to elicit values for public goods. We develop an explicit game theoretic model of individual decisions, providing conditions under which surveys with a single binary choice question, or sequence of binary choice questions, are incentive-compatible. We complement the theory with a framed field experiment, with treatments that span the spectrum from incentive-compatible, financially binding decisions to decisions with no direct financial consequences. The results suggest truthful preference revelation is possible, provided that participants view their decisions as having more than a weak chance of influencing policy. (JEL C83, C93, H41, Q23)

Suggested Citation

  • 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 145-171, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmic:v:4:y:2012:i:4:p:145-71
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mic.4.4.145
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Takanori Ida & Rei Goto, 2009. "Simultaneous Measurement Of Time And Risk Preferences: Stated Preference Discrete Choice Modeling Analysis Depending On Smoking Behavior," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(4), pages 1169-1182, November.
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    3. Wiktor Adamowicz & Peter Boxall & Michael Williams & Jordan Louviere, 1998. "Stated Preference Approaches for Measuring Passive Use Values: Choice Experiments and Contingent Valuation," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(1), pages 64-75.
    4. John List & Craig Gallet, 2001. "What Experimental Protocol Influence Disparities Between Actual and Hypothetical Stated Values?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 20(3), pages 241-254, November.
    5. Asher A. Blass & Saul Lach & Charles F. Manski, 2010. "Using Elicited Choice Probabilities To Estimate Random Utility Models: Preferences For Electricity Reliability," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(2), pages 421-440, May.
    6. 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.
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    8. Richard T. Carson & Nicholas E. Flores & Kerry M. Martin & Jennifer L. Wright, 1996. "Contingent Valuation and Revealed Preference Methodologies: Comparing the Estimates for Quasi-Public Goods," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 72(1), pages 80-99.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • Q23 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Forestry

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    1. Truth in Consequentiality: Theory and Field Evidence on Discrete Choice Experiments (AEJ:MI 2012) in ReplicationWiki

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