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What Experimental Protocol Influence Disparities Between Actual and Hypothetical Stated Values?

  • John List
  • Craig Gallet

    ()

Preferences elicited in hypothetical settings have recently come underscrutiny, causing estimates from the contingent valuation method to bechallenged due to perceived ``hypothetical bias.'' Given that the receivedliterature derives value estimates using heterogeneous experimentaltechniques, understanding the effects of important design parameters onthe magnitude of hypothetical bias is invaluable. In this paper, we addressthis issue statistically by using a meta-analysis to examine data from 29experimental studies. Our empirical findings suggest that on averagesubjects overstate their preferences by a factor of about 3 in hypotheticalsettings, and that the degree of over-revelation is influenced by thedistinction between willingness-to-pay and willingness-to-accept, publicversus private goods, and several elicitation methods. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

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Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental and Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 20 (2001)
Issue (Month): 3 (November)
Pages: 241-254

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Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:20:y:2001:i:3:p:241-254
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100263

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  1. Magnus Johannesson & Bengt Liljas & Per-Olov Johansson, 1998. "An experimental comparison of dichotomous choice contingent valuation questions and real purchase decisions," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(5), pages 643-647.
  2. 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, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 18(3), pages 275-292, March.
  3. John Loomis & Thomas Brown & Beatrice Lucero & George Peterson, 1996. "Improving Validity Experiments of Contingent Valuation Methods: Results of Efforts to Reduce the Disparity of Hypothetical and Actual Willingness to Pay," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 72(4), pages 450-461.
  4. Coursey, Don L & Hovis, John L & Schulze, William D, 1987. "The Disparity between Willingness to Accept and Willingness to Pay Measures of Value," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(3), pages 679-90, August.
  5. Vivien Foster & Ian J. Bateman & David Harley, 1997. "Real And Hypothetical Willingness To Pay For Environmental Preservation: A Non-Experimental Comparison," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1-3), pages 123-137.
  6. 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.
  7. Thomas C. Brown & Patricia A. Champ & Richard C. Bishop & Daniel W. McCollum, 1996. "Which Response Format Reveals the Truth about Donations to a Public Good?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 72(2), pages 152-166.
  8. Bohm, Peter, 1972. "Estimating demand for public goods: An experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 111-130.
  9. List, John A. & Shogren, Jason F., 2002. "Calibration of Willingness-to-Accept," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 219-233, March.
  10. Kalle Seip & Jon Strand, 1992. "Willingness to pay for environmental goods in Norway: A contingent valuation study with real payment," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(1), pages 91-106, January.
  11. Peter Frykblom, 2000. "Willingness to pay and the choice of question format: experimental results," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(10), pages 665-667.
  12. Kealy, Mary Jo & Montgomery, Mark & Dovidio, John F., 1990. "Reliability and predictive validity of contingent values: Does the nature of the good matter?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 244-263, November.
  13. Spencer, Michael A. & Swallow, Stephen K. & Miller, Christopher J., 1998. "Valuing Water Quality Monitoring: A Contingent Valuation Experiment Involving Hypothetical And Real Payments," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 27(1), April.
  14. Helen R. Neill & Ronald G. Cummings & Philip T. Ganderton & Glenn W. Harrison & Thomas McGuckin, 1994. "Hypothetical Surveys and Real Economic Commitments," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 70(2), pages 145-154.
  15. Espey, Molly, 1998. "Gasoline demand revisited: an international meta-analysis of elasticities," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 273-295, June.
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  17. Smith, V. Kerry & Mansfield, Carol, 1996. "Buying Time: Real and Hypothetical Offers," Discussion Papers dp-97-09, Resources For the Future.
  18. Fox, John A. & Shogren, J. & Hayes, Dermot J. & Kliebenstein, James, 2003. "Cvm-X: Calibrating Contingent Values with Experimental Auction Markets," Staff General Research Papers 11935, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  19. John A. List, 2001. "Do Explicit Warnings Eliminate the Hypothetical Bias in Elicitation Procedures? Evidence from Field Auctions for Sportscards," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1498-1507, December.
  20. Sinden, Jack A., 1988. "Empirical Tests Of Hypothetical Bias In Consumers' Surplus Surveys," Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 32(02-03).
  21. John List & Richard Hofler, 2004. "Valuation on the frontier: Calibrating actual and hypothetical statements of value," Framed Field Experiments 00159, The Field Experiments Website.
  22. Tim Jeppesen & John A. List & Henk Folmer, 2002. "Environmental Regulations and New Plant Location Decisions: Evidence from a Meta-Analysis," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(1), pages 19-49.
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  25. Jason Shogren & John List, 1998. "Calibration of the difference between actual and hypothetical valuations in a field experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00296, The Field Experiments Website.
  26. Frykblom, Peter, 1997. "Hypothetical Question Modes and Real Willingness to Pay," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 275-287, November.
  27. Mary Jo Kealy & John F. Dovidio & Mark L. Rockel, 1988. "Accuracy in Valuation Is a Matter of Degree," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 64(2), pages 158-171.
  28. Cummings, Ronald G & Harrison, Glenn W & Rutstrom, E Elisabet, 1995. "Homegrown Values and Hypothetical Surveys: Is the Dichotomous Choice Approach Incentive-Compatible?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 260-66, March.
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  30. John Loomis & Thomas Brown & Beatrice Lucero & George Peterson, 1997. "Evaluating the Validity of the Dichotomous Choice Question Format in Contingent Valuation," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 10(2), pages 109-123, September.
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  32. List, John A & Shogren, Jason F, 1998. "The Deadweight Loss of Christmas: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1350-55, December.
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