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Is WTP an attitudinal measure? Empirical analysis of the psychological explanation for contingent values

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  • Ryan, Anthony M.
  • Spash, Clive L.

Abstract

Contingent valuation has been given a psychological interpretation, by Kahneman and colleagues, that claims willingness to pay bids represent psychological attitudes rather than personal economic valuations. Evidence reported here shows the need to qualify the role of this attitudinal explanation. In contradiction to the attitudinal hypothesis, the decision to bid zero or positive appears to represent a complex psychological appraisal. Furthermore, evidence of bid clustering on currency denominations implies fundamental differences concerning how people respond to a monetary scale. Whether interpreted as charitable contributions or imprecise welfare estimates there are serious implications for how economists interpret and use stated preference responses.

Suggested Citation

  • Ryan, Anthony M. & Spash, Clive L., 2011. "Is WTP an attitudinal measure? Empirical analysis of the psychological explanation for contingent values," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 674-687.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:32:y:2011:i:5:p:674-687
    DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2011.07.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Meldrum, James R., 2015. "Comparing different attitude statements in latent class models of stated preferences for managing an invasive forest pathogen," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 13-22.
    2. Franco, Daniele & Luiselli, Luca, 2014. "Shared ecological knowledge and wetland values: a case study," MPRA Paper 66496, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Spash, Clive L., 2015. "Bulldozing Biodiversity: The Economics of Optimal Extinction," SRE-Discussion Papers 4450, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    4. Dranco, Daniel & Luiselli, Luca, 2014. "How much do the common goods of rural and semi-natural landscape cost? A case study," MPRA Paper 66309, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2015.
    5. Farnsworth, K.D. & Adenuga, A.H. & de Groot, R.S., 2015. "The complexity of biodiversity: A biological perspective on economic valuation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 350-354.
    6. Daniel Franco & Luca Luiselli, 2013. "A procedure to analyse the strategic outliers and the multiple motivations in a contingent valuation: A case study for a concrete policy purpose," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 40(3), pages 246-266, February.
    7. Clark, Beth & Stewart, Gavin B. & Panzone, Luca A. & Kyriazakis, Ilias & Frewer, Lynn J., 2017. "Citizens, consumers and farm animal welfare: A meta-analysis of willingness-to-pay studies," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 112-127.
    8. Kenter, Jasper O. & O'Brien, Liz & Hockley, Neal & Ravenscroft, Neil & Fazey, Ioan & Irvine, Katherine N. & Reed, Mark S. & Christie, Michael & Brady, Emily & Bryce, Rosalind & Church, Andrew & Cooper, 2015. "What are shared and social values of ecosystems?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 86-99.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Contingent valuation; Environmental attitudes; Kahneman; Contribution model;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
    • Q26 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Recreational Aspects of Natural Resources

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