IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Preference elicitation under oath

  • Jacquemet, Nicolas
  • Joule, Robert-Vincent
  • Luchini, Stéphane
  • Shogren, Jason F.

Eliciting sincere preferences for non-market goods remain a challenge due to the discrepency between hypothetical and real behavior and false zeros. The gap arises because people either overstate hypothetical values or understate real commitments or a combination of both. Herein we examine whether the traditional real-world institution of the solemn oath can improve preference elicitation. Applying the social psychology theory on the oath as a truth-telling-commitment device, we ask our bidders to swear on their honour to give honest answers prior to participating in an incentive-compatible second-price auction. The oath is an ancillary mechanism to commit bidders to bid sincerely in a second-price auction. Results from our induced valuation testbed treatments suggest that the oath-only auctions outperform all our other auctions (real and hypothetical). In our homegrown valuation treatments eliciting preferences for dolphin protection, the oath-only design induced people to treat as binding both their experimental budget constraint (i.e., lower values on the high end of the value distribution) and participation constraint (i.e., positive values in place of the zero bids used to opt-out of auction). Based on companion treatments, we show the oath works through an increase in the willingness to tell the truth, due to a strengthening of the intrinsic motivation to do so.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0095069612000587
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

Volume (Year): 65 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 110-132

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:65:y:2013:i:1:p:110-132
DOI: 10.1016/j.jeem.2012.05.004
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622870

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Todd L. Cherry & Peter Frykblom & Jason F. Shogren, 2002. "Hardnose the Dictator," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1218-1221, September.
  2. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00490448 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. JAMES G. MacKINNON, 2006. "Bootstrap Methods in Econometrics," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 82(s1), pages S2-S18, 09.
  4. James Andreoni & B. Douglas Bernheim, 2007. "Social Image and the 50-50 Norm: A Theoretical and Experimental Analysis of Audience Effects," Discussion Papers 07-030, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  5. Nicolas Jacquemet & Alexander James & Stéphane Luchini & Jason Shogren, 2016. "Referenda Under Oath," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-01301784, HAL.
  6. Cannon Koo & John List & Michael Margolis & Jason Shogren, 2001. "A random nth-price auction," Artefactual Field Experiments 00517, The Field Experiments Website.
  7. Mark Morrison & Thomas Brown, 2009. "Testing the Effectiveness of Certainty Scales, Cheap Talk, and Dissonance-Minimization in Reducing Hypothetical Bias in Contingent Valuation Studies," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 44(3), pages 307-326, November.
  8. Mariah Ehmke & John List & Jayson Lusk, 2008. "Is hypothetical bias a universal phenomenon? A multinational investigation," Artefactual Field Experiments 00041, The Field Experiments Website.
  9. Nicolas Jacquemet & Alexander G. James & Stéphane Luchini & Jason F. Shogren, 2010. "Social psychology and environmental economics: a new look at ex ante corrections of biased preference evaluation," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 10016, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  10. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00429894 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Shogren, Jason F. & Seung Y. Shin & Dermot J. Hayes & James B. Kliebenstein, 1994. "Resolving Differences in Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Accept," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 255-70, March.
  12. Jacquemet, Nicolas & Joule, Robert-Vincent & Luchini, Stéphane & Shogren, Jason F., 2009. "Earned wealth, engaged bidders? Evidence from a second-price auction," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 36-38, October.
  13. Dufwenberg, Martin & Gneezy, Uri, 2000. "Measuring Beliefs in an Experimental Lost Wallet Game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 163-182, February.
  14. Nicolas Jacquemet & Robert-Vincent Joule & Stephane Luchini & Jason Shogren, 2011. "Do people always pay less than they say? Testbed laboratory experiments with IV and HG values," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00526134, HAL.
  15. Aadland, David & Caplan, Arthur J., 2006. "Cheap talk reconsidered: New evidence from CVM," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(4), pages 562-578, August.
  16. Cummings, Ronald G, et al, 1997. "Are Hypothetical Referenda Incentive Compatible?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(3), pages 609-21, June.
  17. John List & Craig Gallet, 2001. "What Experimental Protocol Influence Disparities Between Actual and Hypothetical Stated Values?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 20(3), pages 241-254, November.
  18. John List & Jason Shogren, 1998. "Calibration of the difference between actual and hypothetical valuations in a field experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00296, The Field Experiments Website.
  19. Charness, Gary & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2003. "Promises & Partnership," Research Papers in Economics 2003:3, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  20. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  21. Joseph Henrich & Steve J. Heine & Ara Norenzayan, 2010. "The Weirdest People in the World?," Working Paper Series of the German Council for Social and Economic Data 139, German Council for Social and Economic Data (RatSWD).
  22. Matthew Braham & Friedel Bolle, 2006. "A difficulty with oaths: On trust, trustworthiness, and signalling," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 219-232, November.
  23. Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2004. "Promises and Partnership," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000001, UCLA Department of Economics.
  24. Todd Cherry & Peter Frykblom & Jason Shogren & John List & Melonie Sullivan, 2004. "Laboratory Testbeds and Non-Market Valuation: The Case of Bidding Behavior in a Second-Price Auction with an Outside Option," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 29(3), pages 285-294, November.
  25. Jack Knetsch & Fang-Fang Tang & Richard Thaler, 2001. "The Endowment Effect and Repeated Market Trials: Is the Vickrey Auction Demand Revealing?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 4(3), pages 257-269, December.
  26. James Murphy & P. Allen & Thomas Stevens & Darryl Weatherhead, 2005. "A Meta-analysis of Hypothetical Bias in Stated Preference Valuation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 30(3), pages 313-325, 03.
  27. repec:dau:papers:123456789/9717 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. David L. Dickinson, 2004. "Negative Values in Vickrey Auctions," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(1), pages 222-235.
  29. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Martin Dufwenberg, 2007. "Guilt in Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 170-176, May.
  30. Fredrik Carlsson, 2010. "Design of Stated Preference Surveys: Is There More to Learn from Behavioral Economics?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 46(2), pages 167-177, June.
  31. Tore Ellingsen & Magnus Johannesson, 2004. "Promises, Threats and Fairness," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 397-420, 04.
  32. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00584247 is not listed on IDEAS
  33. William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, 03.
  34. David Aadland & Arthur J. Caplan, 2003. "Willingness to Pay for Curbside Recycling with Detection and Mitigation of Hypothetical Bias," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(2), pages 492-502.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. Economic Logic blog

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:65:y:2013:i:1:p:110-132. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.