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Can Hypothetical Questions Reveal True Values? A Laboratory Comparison of Dichotomous Choice and Open-Ended Contingent Values with Auction Values

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  • Edward Balistreri
  • Gary McClelland
  • Gregory Poe
  • William Schulze

Abstract

Can hypothetical questions reveal true values? An examination of thelaboratory experimental literature examining contingent valuation (CV)lends some support for using open-ended hypothetical willingness to payquestions. However, experimental studies examining dichotomous choicehave found that hypothetical answers overstate demand. Consistent withthe experimental literature, published CV studies comparing open-ended todichotomous choice questions have shown that values from the dichotomouschoice method equal or exceed those of the open-ended method in everycase. This paper presents a series of experiments employing more than 800subjects to test this hypothesis for CV and compares the CV results toactual auction values in a single controlled experimental environment. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

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  • Edward Balistreri & Gary McClelland & Gregory Poe & William Schulze, 2001. "Can Hypothetical Questions Reveal True Values? A Laboratory Comparison of Dichotomous Choice and Open-Ended Contingent Values with Auction Values," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 18(3), pages 275-292, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:18:y:2001:i:3:p:275-292
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1011130018891
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