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Augmenting short Cheap Talk scripts with a repeated Opt-Out Reminder in Choice Experiment surveys

  • Jacob Ladenburg

    ()

    (Danish Institute of Governmental Research)

  • Søren Bøye Olsen

    ()

    (Institute of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen)

Hypothetical bias remains a major problem when valuing non-market goods with stated preference methods. Originally developed for Contingent Valuation studies, Cheap Talk has been found to effectively reduce hypothetical bias in some applications, though empirical results are ambiguous. We discuss reasons why Cheap Talk may fail to effectively remove hypothetical bias, especially in Choice Experiments. In this light, we suggest augmenting Cheap Talk in Choice Experiments with a so-called Opt-Out Reminder. Prior to each single choice set, the Opt-Out Reminder explicitly instructs respondents to choose the opt-out alternative if they find the experimentally designed alternatives too expensive. In an empirical Choice Experiment survey we find the Opt-Out Reminder to significantly reduce total WTP and to some extent also marginal WTP beyond the capability of the Cheap Talk applied without the Opt-Out Reminder. This suggests that rather than merely adopting the Cheap Talk practice directly from Contingent Valuation, it should be adapted to fit the potentially different decision processes and repeated choices structure of the Choice Experiment format. Our results further suggest that augmenting Cheap Talk with a dynamic Opt-Out Reminder can be an effective and promising improvement in the ongoing effort to remedy the particular types of hypothetical bias that potentially continue to invalidate Choice Experiment surveys.

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File URL: http://okonomi.foi.dk/workingpapers/WPpdf/WP2010/WP_2010_09_augmenting_cheap_talk_scripts.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics in its series IFRO Working Paper with number 2010/9.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:foi:wpaper:2010_09
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.ifro.ku.dk/english/
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Laura Taylor & Mark Morrison & Kevin Boyle, 2010. "Exchange Rules and the Incentive Compatibility of Choice Experiments," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 47(2), pages 197-220, October.
  4. Richard C. Ready & Patricia A. Champ & Jennifer L. Lawton, 2010. "Using Respondent Uncertainty to Mitigate Hypothetical Bias in a Stated Choice Experiment," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 86(2), pages 363-381.
  5. James Murphy & Thomas Stevens & Darryl Weatherhead, 2005. "Is Cheap Talk Effective at Eliminating Hypothetical Bias in a Provision Point Mechanism?," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 30(3), pages 327-343, 03.
  6. Jayson L. Lusk, 2003. "Effects of Cheap Talk on Consumer Willingness-to-Pay for Golden Rice," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(4), pages 840-856.
  7. James Murphy & P. Allen & Thomas Stevens & Darryl Weatherhead, 2005. "A Meta-analysis of Hypothetical Bias in Stated Preference Valuation," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 30(3), pages 313-325, 03.
  8. Klick, Jonathan & Parisi, Francesco, 2008. "Social networks, self-denial, and median preferences: Conformity as an evolutionary strategy," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1319-1327, August.
  9. Ladenburg, Jacob & Olsen, Søren Bøye, 2008. "Gender-specific starting point bias in choice experiments: Evidence from an empirical study," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 275-285, November.
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