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Ethical Design of Stated Preference Questionnaires: Results from a Split-Sample Test


  • Morrison, Mark
  • Blamey, Russell K.
  • Mallawaarachchi, Thilak


Designers of stated preference studies have placed an emphasis in recent years on ensuring that questionnaires are defensible, and that all ‘hypothetical’ elements are removed. A potential problem with this emphasis is that it can unwittingly increase the hypothetical nature of the survey as well as necessitating the use of ethically questionable statements. An alternative approach was recommended by Morrison (forthcoming) that is ethically better and potentially less susceptible to hypothetical bias. This approach has been used in several studies, with the results indicating that designing questionnaires in an ethically neutral manner does not automatically lead to poorer quality models. In this paper we present the results of a more rigorous split sample test to test the appropriateness of using this approach. Minor evidence of strategic behaviour by a small proportion of the respondents (about 7%) was identified; however the results indicate that welfare estimates were not affected by designing questionnaires in this way.

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  • Morrison, Mark & Blamey, Russell K. & Mallawaarachchi, Thilak, 2001. "Ethical Design of Stated Preference Questionnaires: Results from a Split-Sample Test," 2001 Conference (45th), January 23-25, 2001, Adelaide 125758, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aare01:125758

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Richard T. Carson & Nicholas E. Flores & Kerry M. Martin & Jennifer L. Wright, 1996. "Contingent Valuation and Revealed Preference Methodologies: Comparing the Estimates for Quasi-Public Goods," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 72(1), pages 80-99.
    2. Harrison, Glenn W. & Lesley, James C., 1996. "Must Contingent Valuation Surveys Cost So Much?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 79-95, July.
    3. Alan Randall, 1997. "The NOAA Panel Report: A New Beginning or the End of an Era?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1489-1494.
    4. Neill Helen R., 1995. "The Context for Substitutes in CVM Studies: Some Empirical Observations," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 393-397, November.
    5. M. Morrison & R. Blamey & J. Bennett, 2000. "Minimising Payment Vehicle Bias in Contingent Valuation Studies," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 16(4), pages 407-422, August.
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    1. Mallawaarachchi, Thilak & Morrison, Mark & Blamey, Russell K., 2001. "Determining the community value of peri-urban land: The significance of environmental amenity and production alternatives," 2001 Conference (45th), January 23-25, 2001, Adelaide 125763, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.

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