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Incentive Compatible Referenda And The Valuation Of Environmental Goods

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  • Taylor, Laura O.

Abstract

Recent attempts to test the validity of the contingent valuation method have relied on laboratory-type experiments. In these experiments, willingness to pay responses in hypothetical choice experiments are compared with responses from choice experiments requiring actual payments. Often evidence of hypothetical bias is found. Critical for these experimental tests of hypothetical surveys is that the methodology used to elicit willingness to pay from subjects in the real-payment experiment be demand revealing. If it is not, then differences in responses to hypothetical and real valuation questions could be due to free-riding in the real-payment survey and not due to hypothetical bias in the hypothetical survey. This paper reports on experiments that implement a theoretically incentive-compatible revelation mechanism (a closed referendum) to elicit responses to valuation questions in both hypothetical and real experiments. As in earlier studies, evidence of an upward hypothetical bias is found.

Suggested Citation

  • Taylor, Laura O., 1998. "Incentive Compatible Referenda And The Valuation Of Environmental Goods," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 27(2), pages 1-8, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:arerjl:31521
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.31521
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    File URL: https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/31521/files/27020132.pdf
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    1. Groves, Theodore & Ledyard, John O, 1977. "Optimal Allocation of Public Goods: A Solution to the "Free Rider" Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(4), pages 783-809, May.
    2. Rose, Steven K. & Clark, Jeremy & Poe, Gregory L. & Rondeau, Daniel & Schulze, William D., 2002. "The private provision of public goods: tests of a provision point mechanism for funding green power programs," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 131-155, February.
    3. Brookshire, David S & Coursey, Don L, 1987. "Measuring the Value of a Public Good: An Empirical Comparison of Elicitation Procedures," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 554-566, September.
    4. 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.
    5. Cummings, Ronald G & Elliott, Steven & Harrison, Glenn W & Murphy, James, 1997. "Are Hypothetical Referenda Incentive Compatible?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(3), pages 609-621, June.
    6. Helen R. Neill & Ronald G. Cummings & Philip T. Ganderton & Glenn W. Harrison & Thomas McGuckin, 1994. "Hypothetical Surveys and Real Economic Commitments," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 70(2), pages 145-154.
    7. Gibbard, Allan, 1973. "Manipulation of Voting Schemes: A General Result," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(4), pages 587-601, July.
    8. Magnus Johannesson & Bengt Liljas & Richard O'Conor, 1997. "Hypothetical versus real willingness to pay: some experimental results," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(3), pages 149-151.
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