Temporal Reliability of Estimates from Contingent Valuation
In 1992 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) convened a panel of prominent social scientists to assess the reliability of natural resource damage estimates derived from contingent valuation (CV). The product of the panel's deliberations was a report that laid out a set of recommended guidelines for CV survey design, administration, and data analysis. This paper focuses on one of these guidelines -- the Panel's call for the "temporal averaging" of willingness-to-pay (WTP) responses obtained from CV surveys as one method for increasing their reliability. The panel suggested: "Time dependent measurement noise should be reduced by averaging across independently drawn samples taken at different points in time. A clear and substantial time trend in the responses would cast doubt on the 'reliability' of the finding."
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