Assessing information provision and respondent involvement effects on preferences
We develop a test of the effect of information and respondent involvement on preferences for passive-use values using three treatments. Individuals from a rural community participated in one of three groups, each with a different level of involvement in the valuation assessment. The first group was highly involved, attending three meetings which allowed for information acquisition and preference construction. The second group was involved in a single meeting, and the third group was minimally involved through telephone contact and the completion of a mail administered survey. The hypothesis examined was that the degree of involvement in the exercise would affect the magnitude and consistency of preferences across the groups. The hypothesis that the preferences differ was not accepted. Furthermore, the hypothesis that variances in preferences would be higher in less involved groups was also rejected. While the analysis is based on relatively small samples the findings suggest caution in claiming that increasing degrees of respondent involvement improve economic measures of trade-offs.
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