Is Referendum the Same as Dichotomous Choice Contingent Valuation?
The NOAA Panel on contingent valuation (Arrow et al. 1993) recommends that the valuation question be cast under the form of a referendum because of incentive properties and familiarity to the respondent. Even though the literature has generally accepted the panel recommendation, it is not clear whether explicitly mentioning a referendum leads to different values than asking a dichotomous (yes/no) question without mentioning any voting process. The results of our specifically designed contingent valuation survey indicate that the estimated willingness to pay is significantly larger when a referendum is explicitly mentioned.
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