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The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth - A Multiple Country Test of an Oath Script

Author

Listed:
  • Carlsson, Fredrik

    () (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Kataria, Mitesh

    () (Max Planck Institute of Economics)

  • Krupnick, Alan

    () (Resources for the Future)

  • Lampi, Elina

    () (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Löfgren, Åsa

    () (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Qin, Ping

    () (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Sterner, Thomas

    () (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Chung, Susie

    () (Resources for the Future)

Abstract

Hypothetical bias is one of the main issues bedeviling the field of nonmarket valuation. The general criticism is that survey responses reflect how people would like to behave, rather than how they actually behave. In our study of climate change and emissions reductions, we took advantage of the increasing bulk of evidence from psychology and economics that addresses the effects of making promises, in order to investigate the effect of an oath script in a contingent valuation survey. The survey was conducted in Sweden and China, and its results indicate that an oath script has significant effects on respondent behavior in answering willingness-to-pay (WTP) questions, some of which vary by country. In both countries, the share of zero WTP responses and extremely high WTP responses decreases when an oath script is used, which also results in lower variance. In China, the oath script also reduces the average WTP, cutting it by half in certain instances. We also found that the oath script has different impacts on various respondent groups. For example, without the oath script, Communist party members in China are more likely than others to have a positive WTP for emissions reductions, but with the oath script, there is no longer any difference between the groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlsson, Fredrik & Kataria, Mitesh & Krupnick, Alan & Lampi, Elina & Löfgren, Åsa & Qin, Ping & Sterner, Thomas & Chung, Susie, 2010. "The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth - A Multiple Country Test of an Oath Script," Working Papers in Economics 473, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0473
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Tiziana de Magistris & Wilma Xhakollari & Naomi Munoz, 2015. "The effect of sensory properties on non-celiac consumers’ willingness to pay for a gluten-free snack," ECONOMIA AGRO-ALIMENTARE, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 17(1), pages 107-118.
    2. Nicolas Jacquemet & Stéphane Luchini & Julie Rosaz & Jason Shogren, 2015. "Truth-telling under Oath," Post-Print halshs-01224135, HAL.
    3. 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.
    4. Yiannis Kountouris & Kyriaki Remoundou, 2016. "Cultural Influence on Preferences and Attitudes for Environmental Quality," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(2), pages 369-397, May.
    5. Kataria, Mitesh & Winter, Fabian, 2013. "Third party assessments in trust problems with conflict of interest: An experiment on the effects of promises," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(1), pages 53-56.
    6. Koessler, Ann-Kathrin & Page, Lionel & Dulleck, Uwe, 2015. "Promoting pro-social behavior with public statements of good intent," MPRA Paper 80072, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 24 May 2017.
    7. Hermann Donfouet & Pierre-Alexandre Mahieu & Eric Malin, 2013. "Using respondents’ uncertainty scores to mitigate hypothetical bias in community-based health insurance studies," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 14(2), pages 277-285, April.
    8. Prasenjit Banerjee & Vegard Iversen & Sandip Mitra & Antonio Nicolò & Kunal Sen, 2018. "Politicians and their promises in an uncertain world: Evidence from a lab-in-the-field experiment in India," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 1806, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    9. de-Magistris, Tiziana & Pascucci, Stefano, 2014. "The effect of the solemn oath script in hypothetical choice experiment survey: A pilot study," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 123(2), pages 252-255.
    10. Sawe, Nik, 2017. "Using neuroeconomics to understand environmental valuation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 1-9.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Oath script; hypothetical bias; willingness to pay;

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General

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