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Preference Elicitation under Oath

Listed author(s):
  • Nicolas Jacquemet

    ()

    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)

  • Robert-Vincent Joule

    ()

    (LPS - Laboratoire de Psychologie Sociale - AMU - Aix Marseille Université)

  • Stephane Luchini

    ()

    (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ECM - Ecole Centrale de Marseille)

  • Jason Shogren

    ()

    (UW - University of Wyoming, Umeå University - Department of Economics)

Eliciting sincere preferences for non-market goods remains a challenge due to hypothetical bias - the so-called gap between hypothetical monetary values and real economic commitments. The gap arises because people either overstate hypothetical values or understate real commitments or a combination of both. Herein we examine whether the traditional real-world institution of the solenn oath can improve preference elicitation. Applying the social psychology theory on the oath as a truth-telling-commitment device, we ask our bidders to swear on their honour to give honest answers prior to participating in an incentive-compatible second-price auction. Results from our induced valuation testbed treatments suggest the oath-only auctions outperform all other auctions (real, hypothetical, and real-with-oath). In our homegrown valuation treatments eliciting preferences for dolphin protection, the oath-only design induced people to treat as binding both their budget constraint (i.e., lower values on the high end of the value distribution) and participation constraint (i.e., positive values rather than zero bids used to opt out of auction). Our oath-only results are robust to extra training on the auction and to consequential wording about the reason for the oath.

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File URL: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00396721/document
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Paper provided by HAL in its series Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) with number halshs-00396721.

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Date of creation: Jun 2009
Publication status: Published in Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 2009.43 - ISSN : 1955-611X. 2009
Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00396721
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00396721
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  1. Dufwenberg, Martin & Gneezy, Uri, 2000. "Measuring Beliefs in an Experimental Lost Wallet Game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 163-182, February.
  2. Jacquemet, Nicolas & Joule, Robert-Vincent & Luchini, Stéphane & Shogren, Jason F., 2009. "Earned wealth, engaged bidders? Evidence from a second-price auction," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 36-38, October.
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  4. Shogren, Jason F. & Margolis, Michael & Koo, Cannon & List, John A., 2001. "A random nth-price auction," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 409-421, December.
  5. Nicolas Jacquemet & Robert‐Vincent Joule & Stéphane Luchini & Jason F. Shogren, 2011. "Do People Always Pay Less Than They Say? Testbed Laboratory Experiments with IV and HG Values," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 13(5), pages 857-882, October.
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  7. Charness, Gary & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2003. "Promises & Partnership," Research Papers in Economics 2003:3, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  8. Mariah D. Ehmke & Jayson L. Lusk & John A. List, 2008. "Is Hypothetical Bias a Universal Phenomenon? A Multinational Investigation," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 84(3), pages 489-500.
  9. Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2006. "Promises and Partnership," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1579-1601, November.
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  12. List, John A. & Shogren, Jason F., 1998. "Calibration of the difference between actual and hypothetical valuations in a field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 193-205, October.
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  15. Nicolas Jacquemet & Alexander James & Stéphane Luchini & Jason F. Shogren, 2017. "Referenda Under Oath," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 67(3), pages 479-504, July.
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  23. Todd Cherry & Peter Frykblom & Jason Shogren & John List & Melonie Sullivan, 2004. "Laboratory Testbeds and Non-Market Valuation: The Case of Bidding Behavior in a Second-Price Auction with an Outside Option," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 29(3), pages 285-294, November.
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  34. Shogren, Jason F. & Shin, Seung Y. & Hayes, Dermot J. & Kliebenstein, James B., 1994. "Resolving Differences in Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Accept," ISU General Staff Papers 199403010800001005, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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