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Preference Elicitation under Oath

  • Nicolas Jacquemet

    ()

    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics)

  • Robert-Vincent Joule

    ()

    (LPS - Laboratoire de Psychologie Sociale - Université de Provence - Aix-Marseille 1 - AMU - Aix-Marseille Université)

  • Stephane Luchini

    ()

    (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - Université Paul Cézanne - Aix-Marseille 3 - Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille 2 - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - AMU - Aix-Marseille Université)

  • Jason Shogren

    ()

    (Departement of Economics and Finance, University of Wyoming - University of Wyoming)

Eliciting sincere preferences for non-market goods remain a challenge due to the discrepency between hypothetical and real behavior and false zeros. 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 solemn 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. The oath is an ancillary mechanism to commit bidders to bid sincerely in a second-price auction. Results from our induced valuation testbed treatments suggest that the oath-only auctions outperform all our other auctions (real and hypothetical). In our homegrown valuation treatments eliciting preferences for dolphin protection, the oath-only design induced people to treat as binding both their experimental budget constraint (i.e., lower values on the high end of the value distribution) and participation constraint (i.e., positive values in place of the zero bids used to opt-out of auction). Based on companion treatments, we show the oath works through an increase in the willingness to tell the truth, due to a strengthening of the intrinsic motivation to do so.

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Date of creation: Jan 2013
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Handle: RePEc:hal:pseose:halshs-00731244
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  1. John List & Craig Gallet, 2001. "What Experimental Protocol Influence Disparities Between Actual and Hypothetical Stated Values?," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 20(3), pages 241-254, November.
  2. Friedel Bolle & Matthew Braham, . "A Difficulty with Oaths: On Trust, Trustworthiness, and Signalling," German Working Papers in Law and Economics 2003-1-1055, Berkeley Electronic Press.
  3. James G. MacKinnon, 2006. "Bootstrap Methods in Econometrics," Working Papers 1028, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  4. 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, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 29(3), pages 285-294, November.
  5. Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2004. "Promises and Partnership," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000001, UCLA Department of Economics.
  6. Shogren, Jason F. & Shin, Seung Youll & Hayes, Dermot J. & Kliebenstein, James, 1994. "Resolving Differences in Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Accept," Staff General Research Papers 701, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  7. Charness, Gary B & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2006. "Promises & Partnership," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt0127h86v, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  8. Carlsson, Fredrik, 2009. "Design of stated preference surveys: Is there more to learn from behavioral economics?," Working Papers in Economics 418, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  9. Nicolas Jacquemet & Robert-Vincent Joule & Stephane Luchini & Jason Shogren, 2011. "Do people always pay less than they say? Testbed laboratory experiments with IV and HG values," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00526134, HAL.
  10. 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.
  11. Todd L. Cherry & Peter Frykblom & Jason F. Shogren, 2002. "Hardnose the Dictator," Working Papers 02-06, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
  12. 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.
  13. Nicolas Jacquemet & Alexander James & Stephane Luchini & Jason Shogren, 2010. "Referenda under Oath," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00490448, HAL.
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  18. Tore Ellingsen & Magnus Johannesson, 2004. "Promises, Threats and Fairness," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 397-420, 04.
  19. Aadland, David & Caplan, Arthur J., 2006. "Cheap talk reconsidered: New evidence from CVM," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(4), pages 562-578, August.
  20. Nicolas Jacquemet & Alexander G. James & Stéphane Luchini & Jason F. Shogren, 2010. "Social psychology and environmental economics: a new look at ex ante corrections of biased preference evaluation," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 10016, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  21. Laura O. Taylor & Ronald G. Cummings, 1999. "Unbiased Value Estimates for Environmental Goods: A Cheap Talk Design for the Contingent Valuation Method," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 649-665, June.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. David Aadland & Arthur J. Caplan, 2003. "Willingness to Pay for Curbside Recycling with Detection and Mitigation of Hypothetical Bias," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(2), pages 492-502.
  25. Cummings, Ronald G, et al, 1997. "Are Hypothetical Referenda Incentive Compatible?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(3), pages 609-21, June.
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  27. 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.
  28. Jack Knetsch & Fang-Fang Tang & Richard Thaler, 2001. "The Endowment Effect and Repeated Market Trials: Is the Vickrey Auction Demand Revealing?," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 257-269, December.
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