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The citizen versus consumer hypothesis: Evidence from a contingent valuation survey

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  • Curtis, John A.
  • McConnell, Kenneth E.

Abstract

This paper examines the criticism of contingent valuation put forth by Blamey, Common and Quiggin (Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 1995, vol. 39, pp. 264–288). They argue that households have consistent preferences over private goods but not jointly consistent preferences over public and private goods and, hence, contingent valuation cannot uncover meaningful responses for the valuation of public goods. In this paper we argue that the motives that are manifested in choices for public goods can be explained in two ways. One is the model of the citizen, proposed by Blamey et al. (1995). The second is a model of neoclassical preferences with altruism. Given these alternative and competing explanations of choices for public goods, what matters is whether they imply differences in willingness to pay for public goods. We provide statistical evidence from a contingent valuation study of the control of deer in the USA that there is no difference in willingness to pay between those who profess ‘citizen’ or altruistic preferences and the rest of the presumably purely private respondents.

Suggested Citation

  • Curtis, John A. & McConnell, Kenneth E., 1997. "The citizen versus consumer hypothesis: Evidence from a contingent valuation survey," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 0(Issue 1), pages 1-15.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aareaj:118070
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/118070/files/1467-8489.00167.pdf
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    1. Krinsky, Itzhak & Robb, A Leslie, 1986. "On Approximating the Statistical Properties of Elasticities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(4), pages 715-719, November.
    2. Thomas H. Stevens & Jaime Echeverria & Ronald J. Glass & Tim Hager & Thomas A. More, 1991. "Measuring the Existence Value of Wildlife: What Do CVM Estimates Really Show?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 67(4), pages 390-400.
    3. Blamey, Russell K. & Common, Mick S. & Quiggin, John C., 1995. "Respondents To Contingent Valuation Surveys: Consumers Or Citizens?," Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 1-26, December.
    4. Nyborg, Karine, 2000. "Homo Economicus and Homo Politicus: interpretation and aggregation of environmental values," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 305-322, July.
    5. Thomas P. Holmes, 1990. "Self-Interest, Altruism, and Health-Risk Reduction: An Economic Analysis of Voting Behavior," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 66(2), pages 140-149.
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    Cited by:

    1. Harvey, David & Hubbard, Carmen, 2013. "Reconsidering the political economy of farm animal welfare: An anatomy of market failure," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 105-114.
    2. Peter Howley & Stephen Hynes & Cathal O’Donoghue, 2009. "The citizen versus consumer hypothesis: Do welfare estimates differ?," Working Papers 0911, Rural Economy and Development Programme,Teagasc.
    3. Bennett, Jeffrey W., 2005. "Australasian environmental economics: contributions, conflicts and ‘cop-outs’," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 0(Issue 3), pages 1-19.
    4. repec:eee:transa:v:106:y:2017:i:c:p:333-349 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Andrew Mill, Greig & van Rensburg, Tom M. & Hynes, Stephen & Dooley, Conor, 2007. "Preferences for multiple use forest management in Ireland: Citizen and consumer perpectives," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 642-653, January.
    6. Tienhaara, Annika & Ahtiainen, Heini & Pouta, Eija, 2015. "Consumer and citizen roles and motives in the valuation of agricultural genetic resources in Finland," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 1-10.
    7. Smith, V. Kerry & Mansfield, Carol & Allen Klaiber, H., 2013. "Terrorist threats, information disclosures, and consumer sovereignty," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 225-234.
    8. Howley, Peter & Hynes, Stephen & O'Donoghue, Cathal, 2010. "The citizen versus consumer distinction: An exploration of individuals' preferences in Contingent Valuation studies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(7), pages 1524-1531, May.
    9. Alphonce, Roselyne & Alfnes, Frode & Sharma, Amit, 2014. "Consumer vs. citizen willingness to pay for restaurant food safety," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(P1), pages 160-166.
    10. Ovaskainen, Ville & Kniivila, Matleena, 2005. "Consumer versus citizen preferences in contingent valuation: evidence on the role of question framing," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 0(Issue 4), pages 1-16.
    11. van der Heide, C.M. & Blaeij, A.T. de & Heijman, Wim J.M., 2008. "Economic Aspects in Landscape Decision-making: a Participatory Planning Tool based on a Representative Approach," 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium 43949, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    12. Stephen Harrison & Suh, J., 2005. "A Test for the Presence of Genuine or Pure Altruistic Motives in Non-Market Valuation: A Case Study Using Choice Modeling," Discussion Papers Series 338, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    13. Price, Colin, 8. "Superficial citizens and sophisticated consumers: what questions," Scandinavian Forest Economics: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Scandinavian Society of Forest Economics, Scandinavian Society of Forest Economics, issue 41, May.

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