Do status quo choices reflect preferences? Evidence from a discrete choice experiment in the context of water utilities' investment planning
Discrete choice experiments are increasingly being used to assess preferences for services provided by regulated utilities. A commonly observed tendency of customers to opt for the status quo option may signal unwillingness to trade-off changes in service levels with bills, questioning the welfare theoretic interpretation of stated choices. In this paper, we examine status-quo choices and systematic non-trading behaviour in a discrete choice experiment encompassing a wide range of water-related service attributes. Our analysis is novel in several dimensions. First, we use a split sample design to vary the description of the status quo and the survey administration mode (online vs. in person). Second, we define service attributes to span both improvements and deterioration, so that the status quo is not necessarily the least-cost alternative. Third, we elicit information about the perception of the status quo and the impact of service attributes on day-to-day activities. Our results suggest that status quo choices largely reflect preferences.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2012|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: ETH-CEPE, Zürichbergstrasse 18, 8032 Zürich|
Phone: +41-1-632 06 50
Fax: +41-1-632 16 22
Web page: http://www.cepe.ethz.ch
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- John List, 2001.
"Do explicit warnings eliminate the hypothetical bias in elicitation procedures? Evidence from field auctions for sportscards,"
Framed Field Experiments
00163, The Field Experiments Website.
- John A. List, 2001. "Do Explicit Warnings Eliminate the Hypothetical Bias in Elicitation Procedures? Evidence from Field Auctions for Sportscards," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1498-1507, December.
- Riccardo Scarpa & Kenneth G. Willis & Melinda Acutt, 2007. "Valuing externalities from water supply: Status quo, choice complexity and individual random effects in panel kernel logit analysis of choice experiments," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(4), pages 449-466.
- Craig E. Landry & John A. List, 2007.
"Using Ex Ante Approaches to Obtain Credible Signals for Value in Contingent Markets: Evidence from the Field,"
American Journal of Agricultural Economics,
Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(2), pages 420-429.
- Craig Landry & John List, 2007. "Using ex ante approaches to obtain credible signals for value in contingent markets: Evidence from the field," Framed Field Experiments 00168, The Field Experiments Website.
- Hartman, Raymond S. & Donae, Michael J. & Woo, Chi-Keung, 1990. "Status quo bias in the measurement of value of service," Resources and Energy, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 197-214, July.
- K. G. Willis & P. L. Mcmahon & G. D. Garrod & N. A. Powe, 2002. "Water Companies' Service Performance and Environmental Trade-offs," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(3), pages 363-379.
- Swait, Joffre & Adamowicz, Wiktor, 2001. " The Influence of Task Complexity on Consumer Choice: A Latent Class Model of Decision Strategy Switching," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(1), pages 135-48, June.
- Dan Marsh & Lena Mkwara & Riccardo Scarpa, 2011. "Do Respondents’ Perceptions of the Status Quo Matter in Non-Market Valuation with Choice Experiments? An Application to New Zealand Freshwater Streams," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(9), pages 1593, September.
- Roger H. von Haefen & D. Matthew Massey & Wiktor L. Adamowicz, 2005. "Serial Nonparticipation in Repeated Discrete Choice Models," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(4), pages 1061-1076.
- repec:feb:framed:0073 is not listed on IDEAS
- Hensher, David A. & Stopher, Peter R. & Louviere, Jordan J., 2001. "An exploratory analysis of the effect of numbers of choice sets in designed choice experiments: an airline choice application," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 7(6), pages 373-379.
- Day, Brett & Pinto Prades, Jose-Luis, 2010. "Ordering anomalies in choice experiments," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 271-285, May.
- Peter Boxall & W. L. (Vic) Adamowicz & Amanda Moon, 2009.
"Complexity in choice experiments: choice of the status quo alternative and implications for welfare measurement ,"
Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics,
Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 53(4), pages 503-519, October.
- Boxall, Peter C. & Adamowicz, Wiktor L. & Moon, Amanda, 2009. "Complexity in choice experiments: choice of the status quo alternative and implications for welfare measurement," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 53(4), December.
- Matthew Rabin., 1997.
"Psychology and Economics,"
Economics Working Papers
97-251, University of California at Berkeley.
- Raymond S. Hartman & Michael J. Doane & Chi-Keung Woo, 1991. "Consumer Rationality and the Status Quo," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(1), pages 141-162.
- Stephane Hess & John Rose, 2009. "Should Reference Alternatives in Pivot Design SC Surveys be Treated Differently?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 42(3), pages 297-317, March.
- Train, K. & Weeks, M., 2004. "Discrete Choice Models in Preference Space and Willingness-to Pay Space," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0443, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
- Lindhjem, Henrik & Navrud, Ståle, 2011. "Are Internet surveys an alternative to face-to-face interviews in contingent valuation?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(9), pages 1628-1637, July.
- Christian A. Vossler & Maurice Doyon & Daniel Rondeau, 2012.
"Truth in Consequentiality: Theory and Field Evidence on Discrete Choice Experiments,"
American Economic Journal: Microeconomics,
American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 145-71, November.
- Frédéric Roy-Vigneault & Daniel Rondeau & Maurice Doyon & Christian A. Vossler, 2010. "Truth in Consequentiality: Theory and Field Evidence on Discrete Choice Experiments," CIRANO Working Papers 2010s-43, CIRANO.
- Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
- Bateman, Ian J. & Day, Brett H. & Jones, Andrew P. & Jude, Simon, 2009. "Reducing gain-loss asymmetry: A virtual reality choice experiment valuing land use change," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 106-118, July.
- Laura O. Taylor & Ronald G. Cummings, 1999. "Unbiased Value Estimates for Environmental Goods: A Cheap Talk Design for the Contingent Valuation Method," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 649-665, June.
- Wiktor Adamowicz & Peter Boxall & Michael Williams & Jordan Louviere, 1998. "Stated Preference Approaches for Measuring Passive Use Values: Choice Experiments and Contingent Valuation," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(1), pages 64-75.
- List John A. & Sinha Paramita & Taylor Michael H., 2006.
"Using Choice Experiments to Value Non-Market Goods and Services: Evidence from Field Experiments,"
The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy,
De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-39, January.
- 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.
- Adamowicz, Wiktor L. & Louviere, J. & Willians, M., 1992.
"Combining Revealed and Stated Preference Methods for Valuing Environmental Amenities,"
Staff Paper Series
232531, University of Alberta, Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology.
- Adamowicz W. & Louviere J. & Williams M., 1994. "Combining Revealed and Stated Preference Methods for Valuing Environmental Amenities," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 271-292, May.
- Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132.
- Halstead, John M. & Luloff, A.E. & Stevens, Thomas H., 1992. "Protest Bidders In Contingent Valuation," Northeastern Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 21(2), October.
- Peter A. Diamond & Jerry A. Hausman, 1994. "Contingent Valuation: Is Some Number Better than No Number?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 45-64, Fall.
- Schkade David A. & Payne John W., 1994. "How People Respond to Contingent Valuation Questions: A Verbal Protocol Analysis of Willingness to Pay for an Environmental Regulation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 88-109, January.
- W. Viscusi & Joel Huber, 2012. "Reference-dependent valuations of risk: Why willingness-to-accept exceeds willingness-to-pay," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 19-44, February.
- Nielsen, Jytte Seested, 2011. "Use of the Internet for willingness-to-pay surveys: A comparison of face-to-face and web-based interviews," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 119-129, January.
- Jürgen Meyerhoff & Ulf Liebe, 2009. "Status Quo Effect in Choice Experiments: Empirical Evidence on Attitudes and Choice Task Complexity," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 85(3), pages 515-528.
- David Revelt & Kenneth Train, 1998. "Mixed Logit With Repeated Choices: Households' Choices Of Appliance Efficiency Level," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(4), pages 647-657, November.
- Samuelson, William & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1988. "Status Quo Bias in Decision Making," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 7-59, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cee:wpcepe:12-87. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Carlos Ordas)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.