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Comparing Willingness-to-Pay and Subjective Well-Being in the Context of Non-Market Goods

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  • Paul Dolan
  • Robert Metcalfe

Abstract

In order to value non-market goods, economists estimate individuals' willingness to pay (WTP) for these goods using revealed or stated preference methods. We compare these conventional approaches with subjective well-being (SWB), which is based on individuals' ratings of their happiness or life satisfaction rather than on their preferences. In the context of a quasi- experiment in urban regeneration, we find that monetary estimates from SWB data are significantly higher than from revealed and stated preference data. Stigma in revealed preferences, mental accounting in stated preferences and unspecified duration in SWB ratings might explain some of the difference between the valuation methods.

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  • Paul Dolan & Robert Metcalfe, 2008. "Comparing Willingness-to-Pay and Subjective Well-Being in the Context of Non-Market Goods," CEP Discussion Papers dp0890, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0890
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    willingness to pay; preferences; life satisfaction; subjective well-being; nonmarketgoods;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models

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