Is Hypothetical Bias a Universal Phenomenon? A Multinational Investigation
A concern with the contingent valuation method (CVM) is the finding that hypothetical and real statements of value often differ. We test whether hypothetical bias, broadly defined, is independent of location by comparing real and hypothetical votes on a dichotomous choice referendum in China, France, Indiana, Kansas, and Niger. We find significant differences in hypothetical bias across locations and reject the hypothesis that hypothetical bias is independent of location. As opposed to the typical finding reported in the literature, subjects in Niger significantly understated their willingness-to-pay in the hypothetical referendum.
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