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Value learning and the willingness to accept–willingness to pay disparity


  • Kingsley, David C.
  • Brown, Thomas C.


The assumption that individual preferences are rational and consistent with standard economic theory is often appropriate, but may be optimistic if consumers are uncertain about either their preferences or how the market operates. Both sources of uncertainty may present themselves in lab experiments exploring the well-known disparity between individuals’ willingness to accept and willingness to pay. This paper explores the role of value uncertainty in the observed disparity, and finds that providing subjects with a value learning opportunity can reduce the value disparity to insignificance.

Suggested Citation

  • Kingsley, David C. & Brown, Thomas C., 2013. "Value learning and the willingness to accept–willingness to pay disparity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(3), pages 473-476.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:120:y:2013:i:3:p:473-476 DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2013.05.034

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David C. Kingsley & Thomas C. Brown, 2012. "Does prompting for revision influence subjects' offers in willingness to accept – willingness to pay lab experiments?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(3), pages 2580-2585.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:enepol:v:110:y:2017:i:c:p:288-302 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Qiu, Jianying, 2015. "Completing incomplete preferences," MPRA Paper 72933, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 18 Jul 2016.

    More about this item


    Discovered preference hypothesis; Value uncertainty; Value learning; Willingness to accept–willingness to pay disparity; Paired comparison experiments;

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects


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