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Household versus individual valuation: what’s the difference?

Standard practice in stated preference typically blurs the distinction between household and individual responses, but without a clear theoretical or empirical justification for this approach. To date there have been no empirical tests of whether values for say a two adult household elicited by interviewing one randomly selected adult are the same as the values generated by interviewing both adults simultaneously. Using cohabiting couples, we conduct a choice experiment field study valuing reductions in dietary health risks. In one treatment a random individual is chosen from the couple and interviewed alone; in the other treatment, both partners are questioned jointly. We find significant differences in household values calculated from joint as opposed to individual responses, with further variation between the values elicited from men and women. Our results question the assumption, implicit in common practice, that differences between individually and jointly elicited estimates of household values can effectively be ignored.

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File URL: http://www.rhul.ac.uk/economics/Research/WorkingPapers/pdf/dpe0602.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London in its series Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics with number 06/02.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2006
Date of revision: Feb 2006
Handle: RePEc:hol:holodi:0602
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  1. Donna Dosman & Wiktor Adamowicz, 2006. "Combining Stated and Revealed Preference Data to Construct an Empirical Examination of Intrahousehold Bargaining," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 15-34, 03.
  2. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre & Haddad, Lawrence & Hoddinott, John & Kanbur, Ravi, 1993. "Unitary versus collective models of the household : time to shift theburden of proof?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1217, The World Bank.
  3. David Hensher & Nina Shore & Kenneth Train, 2005. "Households’ Willingness to Pay for Water Service Attributes," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 32(4), pages 509-531, December.
  4. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-93, Nov.-Dec..
  5. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521788304 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. John Quiggin, 1998. "Individual and Household Willingness to Pay for Public Goods," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(1), pages 58-63.
  7. Ian Bateman & Alistair Munro, 2005. "An Experiment on Risky Choice Amongst Households," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(502), pages C176-C189, 03.
  8. Martin Browning & Pierre-Andre Chiappori, 1994. "Efficient Intra-Household Allocations: a General Characterization and Empirical Tests," Department of Economics Working Papers 1994-02, McMaster University.
  9. Dupont, Diane P., 2004. "Do children matter? An examination of gender differences in environmental valuation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 273-286, July.
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