Can Contingent Valuation Distinguish Economic Values for Different Public Goods?
This paper reports the first test evaluating whether stated choices as part of a contingent valuation survey discriminate between significant and trivial causes. Using a random digit dialed sample for North Carolina, two different plans were posed to respondents-one to expand a popular North Carolina highway flower planting program nationwide and a second to facilitate the use of recycled tires in making asphalt for highways. Random assignment, identical payment mechanisms, and overall question designs were used. The results indicate clear discrimination in choices, choice functions, and the estimated willingness to pay for the two plans.