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WTP/WTA Disparity: Have We Been Observing Dynamic Values but Interpreting Them as Static?, The

This study advances, and experimentally tests, a new explanation for the disparity between willingness to pay (WTP) and willingness to accept (WTA)—a dynamic neoclassical theory based on the presence of commitment costs. While to date neoclassical models have not explained the observed data patterns well, we find that the commitment cost theory is able to explain adequately the causes and severity of the WTP/WTA value disparity. In particular, using data gathered from an actual marketplace, even the most stringent of our theoretical conjectures—cases where WTP values are predicted to exceed WTA values—oftentimes are met.

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Paper provided by Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University in its series Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications with number 03-wp333.

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Date of creation: May 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ias:cpaper:03-wp333
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  1. Zhao, Jinhua & Kling, Catherine L., 2001. "A new explanation for the WTP/WTA disparity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 293-300, December.
  2. List, John A & Shogren, Jason F, 1998. "The Deadweight Loss of Christmas: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1350-55, December.
  3. Knez, Peter & Smith, Vernon L & Williams, Arlington W, 1985. "Individual Rationality, Market Rationality, and Value Estimation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 397-402, May.
  4. 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.
  5. John A. List, 2003. "Does Market Experience Eliminate Market Anomalies?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 41-71, February.
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