IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/enreec/v37y2007i3p465-487.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Researching Preferences, Valuation and Hypothetical Bias

Author

Listed:
  • Rolando Guzman
  • Charles Kolstad

    ()

Abstract

A number of recent papers in environmental economics have focused on the process of researching preferences – agents are uncertain about preferences but with effort may narrow their uncertainty. This issue has arisen in formulating bids in contingent valuation (CV) as well as the debate over the divergence between WTP and WTA. In the context of CV, it has been suggested that the hypothetical nature of the preference elicitation process biases responses. This paper provides both a theoretical model and experimental evidence to contribute to this debate. The model is a model of competitive bidding for a private good with two components that are particularly relevant to the debate. The first component is that bidders are unsure of their own value for the private good but may purchase information about their own value (researching preferences). The second component is that there is a probability that the auction is hypothetical – that the winning bidder will not get the private good and will not pay the winning bid. The experiment tests this theoretical model of bidding equilibrium and analyzes the effects of variations in the parameters (hypotheticalness, information costs and number of agents) on the endogenous variables (such as the proportion of bidders who become informed and the winning bid). Experimental results suggest that an increase in the hypotheticalness of an auction tends to decrease the likelihood that bidders pay for information on their valuation with an ambiguous effect on the winning bid. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Suggested Citation

  • Rolando Guzman & Charles Kolstad, 2007. "Researching Preferences, Valuation and Hypothetical Bias," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 37(3), pages 465-487, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:37:y:2007:i:3:p:465-487
    DOI: 10.1007/s10640-006-9034-y
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10640-006-9034-y
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lee, Tom K., 1985. "Competition and information acquisition in first price auctions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 18(2-3), pages 129-132.
    2. Guzman, Rolando M & Kolstad, Charles D., 1997. "Auction Equilibrium with Costly Information Acquisition," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt4w0787ng, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
    3. Nicola Persico, 2000. "Information Acquisition in Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(1), pages 135-148, January.
    4. Patrick Bajari & Ali Hortaçsu, 2004. "Economic Insights from Internet Auctions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(2), pages 457-486, June.
    5. Matthew Rabin, 2000. "Risk Aversion and Expected-Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1281-1292, September.
    6. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
    7. Grossman, Sanford J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1980. "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 393-408, June.
    8. Richard Carson & Nicholas Flores & Norman Meade, 2001. "Contingent Valuation: Controversies and Evidence," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 19(2), pages 173-210, June.
    9. Schweizer, Urs & von Ungern-Sternberg, Thomas, 1983. "Sealed Bid Auctions and the Search for Better Information," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 50(197), pages 79-85, February.
    10. Kolstad, Charles D. & Guzman, Rolando M., 1999. "Information and the Divergence between Willingness to Accept and Willingness to Pay," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 66-80, July.
    11. Zhao, Jinhua & Kling, Catherine L., 2001. "A new explanation for the WTP/WTA disparity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 293-300, December.
    12. Kagel, John H & Harstad, Ronald M & Levin, Dan, 1987. "Information Impact and Allocation Rules in Auctions with Affiliated Private Values: A Laboratory Study," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(6), pages 1275-1304, November.
    13. Engelbrecht-Wiggans, Richard & Milgrom, Paul R. & Weber, Robert J., 1983. "Competitive bidding and proprietary information," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 161-169, April.
    14. Kolstad, Charles D., 1997. "A Model of Auction Equilibrium with Costly Information Acquisition," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt4502p3n4, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Tunçel, Tuba & Hammitt, James K., 2014. "A new meta-analysis on the WTP/WTA disparity," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 175-187.
    2. Hermann Donfouet & P. Jeanty & P.-A. Mahieu, 2014. "Dealing with internal inconsistency in double-bounded dichotomous choice: an application to community-based health insurance," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 46(1), pages 317-328, February.
    3. repec:spr:empeco:v:53:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s00181-016-1133-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Araña, Jorge E. & León, Carmelo J., 2013. "Dynamic hypothetical bias in discrete choice experiments: Evidence from measuring the impact of corporate social responsibility on consumers demand," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 53-61.
    5. Bush, Glenn & Hanley, Nicholas & Rondeau, Daniel, 2011. "Comparing opportunity cost measures of forest conservation in Uganda; implications for assessing the distributional impacts of forest management approac hes," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2011-12, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
    6. Nathalie Havet & Magali Morelle & Alexis Penot & Raphaël Remonnay, 2012. "The information content of the WTP-WTA gap: An empirical analysis among severely ill patients," Working Papers 1213, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    7. repec:taf:applec:v:49:y:2017:i:51:p:5200-5211 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Pierre-Alexandre Mahieu & François-Charles Wolff & Jason Shogren & Pascal Gastineau, 2017. "Interval bidding in a distribution elicitation format," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(51), pages 5200-5211, November.
    9. Stefan Eriksson & Per Johansson & Sophie Langenskiöld, 2017. "What is the right profile for getting a job? A stated choice experiment of the recruitment process," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 53(2), pages 803-826, September.
    10. Nicolas Jacquemet & Robert-Vincent Joule & Stephane Luchini & Jason Shogren, 2010. "Do people always pay less than they say? Testbed laboratory experiments with IV and HG values," Working Papers halshs-00443668, HAL.
    11. Nicolas Jacquemet & Robert‐Vincent Joule & Stéphane Luchini & Jason F. Shogren, 2011. "Do People Always Pay Less Than They Say? Testbed Laboratory Experiments with IV and HG Values," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 13(5), pages 857-882, October.
    12. repec:dau:papers:123456789/9717 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Pierre-Alexandre Mahieu & Romain Crastes & Jordan Louviere & Ewa Zawojska, 2016. "Rewarding truthful-telling in stated preference studies," Working Papers 2016-33, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:37:y:2007:i:3:p:465-487. 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: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.