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Imprecise Preferences and the WTP-WTA Disparity


  • Dubourg, W R
  • Jones-Lee, M W
  • Loomes, Graham


This article reports the results of a study designed to elicit willingness to pay (WTP) and willingness to accept (WTA) values for changes in the risk of nonfatal road injuries. We examine the possibility that individuals' preferences over combinations of wealth, risk, and safety are imprecise, and that this imprecision might result in the observed disparity between WTP and WTA measures of value. The results confirm that individuals' preferences for safety are significantly imprecise, but that this alone is insufficient to explain more than part of the disparity. Indeed, respondents' estimates of the minimum that they would be prepared to accept for a risk increase frequently exceed the maximum that they would be prepared to pay for an equivalent risk reduction. Copyright 1994 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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  • Dubourg, W R & Jones-Lee, M W & Loomes, Graham, 1994. "Imprecise Preferences and the WTP-WTA Disparity," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 115-133, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jrisku:v:9:y:1994:i:2:p:115-33

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Osborne, Martin J & Rubinstein, Ariel, 1998. "Games with Procedurally Rational Players," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 834-847, September.
    2. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. "Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
    3. Wu, George & Gonzalez, Richard, 1998. "Common Consequence Conditions in Decision Making under Risk," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 115-139, April.
    4. Haruvy, Ernan & Erev, Ido & Sonsino, Doron, 2001. "The Medium Prizes Paradox: Evidence from a Simulated Casino," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 251-261, May.
    5. Chateauneuf, Alain & Wakker, Peter, 1999. "An Axiomatization of Cumulative Prospect Theory for Decision under Risk," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 137-145, August.
    6. George Wu & Richard Gonzalez, 1999. "Nonlinear Decision Weights in Choice Under Uncertainty," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(1), pages 74-85, January.
    7. McKenzie, Craig R. M. & Ferreira, Victor S. & Mikkelsen, Laurie A. & McDermott, Kristine J. & Skrable, Ryan P., 2001. "Do Conditional Hypotheses Target Rare Events?," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 291-309, July.
    8. Gregory, Robin & Lichtenstein, Sarah & Slovic, Paul, 1993. "Valuing Environmental Resources: A Constructive Approach," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 177-197, October.
    9. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    10. Viscusi, W Kip, 1989. "Prospective Reference Theory: Toward an Explanation of the Paradoxes," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 235-263, September.
    11. Craig R. Fox & Amos Tversky, 1998. "A Belief-Based Account of Decision Under Uncertainty," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(7), pages 879-895, July.
    12. Wakker, Peter & Tversky, Amos, 1993. "An Axiomatization of Cumulative Prospect Theory," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 147-175, October.
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