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Is Referendum the Same as Dichotomous Choice Contingent Valuation?


  • Philippe Polome
  • Anne van der Veen
  • Peter Geurts


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe Polome & Anne van der Veen & Peter Geurts, 2006. "Is Referendum the Same as Dichotomous Choice Contingent Valuation?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 82(2), pages 174-188.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:82:y:2006:i:2:p:174-188

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alberini, Anna & Boyle, Kevin & Welsh, Michael, 2003. "Analysis of contingent valuation data with multiple bids and response options allowing respondents to express uncertainty," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 40-62, January.
    2. Vossler, Christian A. & Kerkvliet, Joe, 2003. "A criterion validity test of the contingent valuation method: comparing hypothetical and actual voting behavior for a public referendum," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 631-649, May.
    3. Cummings, Ronald G, et al, 1997. "Are Hypothetical Referenda Incentive Compatible?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(3), pages 609-621, June.
    4. Satterthwaite, Mark Allen, 1975. "Strategy-proofness and Arrow's conditions: Existence and correspondence theorems for voting procedures and social welfare functions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 187-217, April.
    5. W. Michael Hanemann, 1984. "Welfare Evaluations in Contingent Valuation Experiments with Discrete Responses," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 66(3), pages 332-341.
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    Cited by:

    1. Richard T. Carson & Theodore Groves & John A. List, 2014. "Consequentiality: A Theoretical and Experimental Exploration of a Single Binary Choice," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 171-207.
    2. Howley, Peter & Hynes, Stephen & O'Donoghue, Cathal, 2010. "The citizen versus consumer distinction: An exploration of individuals' preferences in Contingent Valuation studies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(7), pages 1524-1531, May.
    3. Parsons, George R. & Myers, Kelley, 2016. "Fat tails and truncated bids in contingent valuation: An application to an endangered shorebird species," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 210-219.
    4. Gelsomina CATALANO & Massimo FLORIO & Francesco GIFFONI, 2016. "Willingness to Pay for Basic Research: A Contingent Valuation Experiment on the Large Hadron Collider," Departmental Working Papers 2016-03, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects


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