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Substitutability, experience, and the value disparity: evidence from the marketplace

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  • List, John A.

Abstract

Several experimental studies have recently provided strong evidence that the basic independence assumption, which is used in most theoretical and applied economic models to assess the operation of markets, is rarely appropriate. These results, which clearly contradict closely held economic doctrines, have led some influential commentators to call for an entirely new economic paradigm to displace conventional neoclassical theory. This paper refutes the generality of these experimental findings by going to a well-functioning marketplace and examining more than 350 individual decisions across various incentive compatible elicitation mechanisms. The data suggest that individuals with significant marketlike experience behave largely in accordance with neoclassical predictions: any observed WTA/WTP disparity amongst this group can be explained by neoclassical arguments. In light of these findings, I believe that we have discarded neoclassical explanations of the value disparity too quickly. More narrowly, these empirical results have important implications for stated valuation methods, such as contingent valuation.
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  • List, John A., 2004. "Substitutability, experience, and the value disparity: evidence from the marketplace," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 486-509, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:47:y:2004:i:3:p:486-509
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    Cited by:

    1. John A. List, 2011. "Does Market Experience Eliminate Market Anomalies? The Case of Exogenous Market Experience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 313-317, May.
    2. Clark, Jeremy & Friesen, Lana, 2008. "The causes of order effects in contingent valuation surveys: An experimental investigation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 195-206, September.
    3. John A. List, 2006. "Using Hicksian Surplus Measures to Examine Consistency of Individual Preferences: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(1), pages 115-134, March.
    4. repec:oup:erevae:v:44:y:2017:i:1:p:3-31. is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Makokha, Stella Nabwile & Karugia, Joseph Thuo & Staal, Steven J. & Oluoch-Kosura, Willis, 2006. "Valuation of Cow Attributes by Conjoint Analysis: A Case Study in Western Kenya," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25752, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    6. Jonathan Aldred, 2006. "Incommensurability and Monetary Valuation," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 82(2), pages 141-161.
    7. James K. Hammitt, 2013. "Positive versus Normative Justifications for Benefit-Cost Analysis: Implications for Interpretation and Policy," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 7(2), pages 199-218, July.
    8. 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.
    9. Edward J. Lopez & W. Robert Nelson, 2005. "The Endowment Effect in a Public Good Experiment," Experimental 0512001, EconWPA.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q21 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • Q26 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Recreational Aspects of Natural Resources

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