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

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  • Jacob Ladenburg

    () (Danish Institute of Governmental Research)

  • Søren Bøye Olsen

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Jacob Ladenburg & Søren Bøye Olsen, 2010. "Augmenting short Cheap Talk scripts with a repeated Opt-Out Reminder in Choice Experiment surveys," IFRO Working Paper 2010/9, University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:foi:wpaper:2010_09
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    Cited by:

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    2. Ewa Zawojska & Pierre-Alexandre Mahieu & Romain Crastes & Jordan Louviere, 2016. "On a way to overcome strategic overbidding in open-ended stated preference surveys: A recoding approach," Working Papers 2016-34, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    3. Dominique Ami & Frédéric Aprahamian & Olivier Chanel & Stéphane Luchini, 2011. "A Test of Cheap Talk in Different Hypothetical Contexts: The Case of Air Pollution," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 50(1), pages 111-130, September.
    4. Villanueva, Anastasio J. & Glenk, Klaus & Rodriguez-Entrena, M., 2016. "Serial non-participation and ecosystem services providers’ preferences towards incentive-based schemes," 90th Annual Conference, April 4-6, 2016, Warwick University, Coventry, UK 236348, Agricultural Economics Society.
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    Keywords

    Cheap talk; Opt-Out Reminder; Choice Experiments; hypothetical bias; stream re-establishment; opt-out effect;

    JEL classification:

    • C42 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Survey Methods
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • Q24 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Land
    • Q26 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Recreational Aspects of Natural Resources
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects

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