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Understanding the consequences of consequentiality: Testing the validity of stated preferences in the field

  • Vossler, Christian A.
  • Watson, Sharon B.

This study pursues the external validation of stated preference methods by comparing survey responses from verified voters with the outcome of a parallel public referendum on a conservation and preservation program to be funded by a local property tax surcharge. The majority of respondents were unaware of the upcoming referendum, and the experimental design allows us to control for referenda-related information effects as well as respondents’ perceptions regarding the consequentiality (i.e. the potential policy impact) of their survey votes. We find the survey under-predicts “yes” referendum votes at the precinct-level. These differences go away, however, if we focus only on respondents who perceived their survey vote to be consequential. Negative hypothetical bias among inconsequential survey respondents is also evident in the estimation of willingness to pay, and controlling for consequentiality increases construct validity.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 86 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 137-147

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:86:y:2013:i:c:p:137-147
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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  1. Champ, Patricia A. & Bishop, Richard C. & Brown, Thomas C. & McCollum, Daniel W., 1997. "Using Donation Mechanisms to Value Nonuse Benefits from Public Goods," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 151-162, June.
  2. Karen Blumenschein & GlennC. Blomquist & Magnus Johannesson & Nancy Horn & Patricia Freeman, 2008. "Eliciting Willingness to Pay Without Bias: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(525), pages 114-137, 01.
  3. Herriges, Joseph & Kling, Catherine & Liu, Chih-Chen & Tobias, Justin, 2010. "What are the consequences of consequentiality?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 67-81, January.
  4. Richard Carson & Theodore Groves, 2007. "Incentive and informational properties of preference questions," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 37(1), pages 181-210, May.
  5. Johnston, Robert J., 2006. "Is hypothetical bias universal? Validating contingent valuation responses using a binding public referendum," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 469-481, July.
  6. Bulte, Erwin & Gerking, Shelby & List, John A. & de Zeeuw, Aart, 2005. "The effect of varying the causes of environmental problems on stated WTP values: evidence from a field study," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 330-342, March.
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  8. repec:feb:framed:0073 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Schlapfer, Felix, 2006. "Survey protocol and income effects in the contingent valuation of public goods: A meta-analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 415-429, May.
  10. Flores, Nicholas E. & Carson, Richard T., 1997. "The Relationship between the Income Elasticities of Demand and Willingness to Pay," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 287-295, July.
  11. Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2010. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232588, June.
  12. Richard Carson & Nicholas Flores & Norman Meade, 2001. "Contingent Valuation: Controversies and Evidence," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 19(2), pages 173-210, June.
  13. Craig E. Landry & John A. List, 2007. "Using Ex Ante Approaches to Obtain Credible Signals for Value in Contingent Markets: Evidence from the Field," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(2), pages 420-429.
  14. Vossler, Christian A. & Kerkvliet, Joe, 2003. "A criterion validity test of the contingent valuation method: comparing hypothetical and actual voting behavior for a public referendum," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 631-649, May.
  15. Vossler, Christian A. & Evans, Mary F., 2009. "Bridging the gap between the field and the lab: Environmental goods, policy maker input, and consequentiality," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 338-345, November.
  16. Schlapfer, Felix & Roschewitz, Anna & Hanley, Nick, 2004. "Validation of stated preferences for public goods: a comparison of contingent valuation survey response and voting behaviour," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1-2), pages 1-16, November.
  17. Vossler, Christian A. & Kerkvliet, Joe & Polasky, Stephen & Gainutdinova, Olesya, 2003. "Externally validating contingent valuation: an open-space survey and referendum in Corvallis, Oregon," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 261-277, June.
  18. 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 145-71, November.
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