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Using Respondent Uncertainty to Mitigate Hypothetical Bias in a Stated Choice Experiment

  • Richard C. Ready
  • Patricia A. Champ
  • Jennifer L. Lawton

In a choice experiment study, willingness to pay for a public good estimated from hypothetical choices was three times as large as willingness to pay estimated from choices requiring actual payment. This hypothetical bias was related to the stated level of certainty of respondents. We develop protocols to measure respondent certainty in the context of a choice experiment, and to calibrate hypothetical choices using these certainty measures. While both the measurement of respondent certainty and the use of certainty measures to calibrate responses are complicated by the multiple-choice nature of choice experiments, calibration successfully mitigated hypothetical bias in this application.

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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Land Economics.

Volume (Year): 86 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 363-381

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:86:y:2010:i:2:p:363-381
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  1. Ethier, Robert G. & Poe, Gregory L. & Schulze, William D. & Clark, Jeremy, 1997. "A Comparison Of Hypothetical Phone And Mail Contingent Valuation Responses For Green Pricing Electricity Programs," Working Papers 7245, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  2. Jayson L. Lusk & Ted C. Schroeder, 2004. "Are Choice Experiments Incentive Compatible? A Test with Quality Differentiated Beef Steaks," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(2), pages 467-482.
  3. Patricia Champ & Richard Bishop, 2001. "Donation Payment Mechanisms and Contingent Valuation: An Empirical Study of Hypothetical Bias," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 19(4), pages 383-402, August.
  4. Cameron, Trudy Ann & Poe, Gregory L. & Ethier, Robert G. & Schulze, William D., 2002. "Alternative Non-market Value-Elicitation Methods: Are the Underlying Preferences the Same?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 391-425, November.
  5. Norwood, F. Bailey, 2005. "Can Calibration Reconcile Stated and Observed Preferences?," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 37(01), April.
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  7. Richard C. Ready & Ståle Navrud & RW. Richard Dubourg, 2001. "How Do Respondents with Uncertain Willingness to Pay Answer Contingent Valuation Questions?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 77(3), pages 315-326.
  8. Karen Blumenschein & GlennC. Blomquist & Magnus Johannesson & Nancy Horn & Patricia Freeman, 2008. "Eliciting Willingness to Pay Without Bias: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(525), pages 114-137, 01.
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  11. John List & Michael Taylor & Paramita Sinha, 2006. "Using choice experiments to value non-market goods and services: Evidence from field experiments," Natural Field Experiments 00278, The Field Experiments Website.
  12. Loomis, John & Ekstrand, Earl, 1998. "Alternative approaches for incorporating respondent uncertainty when estimating willingness to pay: the case of the Mexican spotted owl," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 29-41, October.
  13. Joseph Little & Robert Berrens, 2004. "Explaining Disparities between Actual and Hypothetical Stated Values: Further Investigation Using Meta-Analysis," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 3(6), pages 1-13.
  14. Christian A. Vossler & Robert G. Ethier & Gregory L. Poe & Michael P. Welsh, 2003. "Payment Certainty in Discrete Choice Contingent Valuation Responses: Results from a Field Validity Test," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 69(4), pages 886-902, April.
  15. Champ, Patricia A. & Bishop, Richard C. & Brown, Thomas C. & McCollum, Daniel W., 1997. "Using Donation Mechanisms to Value Nonuse Benefits from Public Goods," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 151-162, June.
  16. Li Chuan-Zhong & Mattsson Leif, 1995. "Discrete Choice under Preference Uncertainty: An Improved Structural Model for Contingent Valuation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 256-269, March.
  17. 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.
  18. Welsh, Michael P. & Poe, Gregory L., 1998. "Elicitation Effects in Contingent Valuation: Comparisons to a Multiple Bounded Discrete Choice Approach," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 170-185, September.
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