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The trade off between time and money: Is there a difference between real and hypothetical choices?

  • Isacsson, Gunnar

    ()

    (VTI)

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    This paper reports the results from one experiment and one quasi-experiment used to investigate the potential problem of “hypothetical bias” in surveys involving an individual’s valuation of time. The experiment compares hypothetical and real choices regarding an offer to participate in a survey in exchange for money. The quasi-experiment compares hypothetical and real choices regarding two bus journeys, one fast and expensive and the other slow and cheap. In both of these experiments, real choices differ significantly from hypothetical ones. The paper estimates parametric distributions of the value of time by applying the general method of moments (GMM) estimator. Since the samples are relatively small a parametric bootstrap is used to obtain asymptotic refinement of statistical tests. The results in the experiment as well as in the quasi-experiment suggest a value of time which is higher when the choice is for real than when the choice is hypothetical. Assuming that the value of time distribution is exponential, real choices produce a mean value of time twice as large as the corresponding hypothetical value.

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    File URL: http://www.transportportal.se/SWoPEc/Hypo%20bias%20feb07.pdf
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    Paper provided by Swedish National Road & Transport Research Institute (VTI) in its series Working Papers with number 2007:3.

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    Length: 34 pages
    Date of creation: 12 Mar 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:vtiwps:2007_003
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    Web page: http://www.vti.se/tek
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    1. Jason Shogren & John List, 1998. "Calibration of the difference between actual and hypothetical valuations in a field experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00296, The Field Experiments Website.
    2. Cummings, Ronald G & Harrison, Glenn W & Rutstrom, E Elisabet, 1995. "Homegrown Values and Hypothetical Surveys: Is the Dichotomous Choice Approach Incentive-Compatible?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 260-66, March.
    3. 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.
    4. Helen R. Neill & Ronald G. Cummings & Philip T. Ganderton & Glenn W. Harrison & Thomas McGuckin, 1994. "Hypothetical Surveys and Real Economic Commitments," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 70(2), pages 145-154.
    5. Smith, V. Kerry & Mansfield, Carol, 1996. "Buying Time: Real and Hypothetical Offers," Discussion Papers dp-97-09, Resources For the Future.
    6. Horowitz, Joel L., 2001. "The Bootstrap," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 52, pages 3159-3228 Elsevier.
    7. Joseph G. Altonji & Lewis M. Segal, 1994. "Small sample bias in GMM estimation of covariance structures," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 94-8, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    8. Andrews, Donald W K, 2001. "Testing When a Parameter Is on the Boundary of the Maintained Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(3), pages 683-734, May.
    9. Brookshire, David S & Coursey, Don L, 1987. "Measuring the Value of a Public Good: An Empirical Comparison of Elicitation Procedures," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 554-66, September.
    10. Peter Bohm, 1972. "Estimating the demand for public goods: An experiment," Framed Field Experiments 00126, The Field Experiments Website.
    11. 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.
    12. Bohm, Peter, 1972. "Estimating demand for public goods: An experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 111-130.
    13. Glenn Harrison, 2006. "Experimental Evidence on Alternative Environmental Valuation Methods," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 34(1), pages 125-162, 05.
    14. Truong, Truong P & Hensher, David A, 1985. "Measurement of Travel Time Values and Opportunity Cost from a Discrete-Choice Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(378), pages 438-51, June.
    15. Hall, Peter & Horowitz, Joel L, 1996. "Bootstrap Critical Values for Tests Based on Generalized-Method-of-Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(4), pages 891-916, July.
    16. Boxall, Peter C. & Adamowicz, Wiktor L. & Swait, Joffre & Williams, Michael & Louviere, Jordan, 1996. "A comparison of stated preference methods for environmental valuation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 243-253, September.
    17. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
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