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Dynamic Willingness to Pay: An Empirical Specification and Test

  • Corrigan, Jay R.
  • Kling, Catherine L.
  • Zhao, Jinhua

In a static setting, willingness to pay for an environmental improvement is equal to compensating variation. However, in a dynamic setting characterized by uncertainty, irreversibility, and the potential for learning, willingness to pay may also contain an option value. In this paper, we incorporate the dynamic nature of the value formulation process into a study using a contingent valuation method, designed to measure the value local residents assign to a north-central Iowa lake. Our results show that willingness to pay is highly sensitive to the potential for future learning. Respondents offered the opportunity to delay their purchasing decisions until more information became available were willing to pay significantly less for improved water quality than those who faced a now-or-never decision. The results suggest that welfare analysts should take care to accurately represent the potential for future learning.

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File URL: http://www.econ.iastate.edu/sites/default/files/publications/papers/paper_10220.pdf
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Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 10220.

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Date of creation: 13 Mar 2003
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Publication status: Published in Environmental and Resource Economics, June 2008, vol. 40 no. 2, pp. 285-298
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:10220
Contact details of provider: Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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  1. Kip Viscusi, W., 1985. "Environmental policy choice with an uncertain chance of irreversibility," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 28-44, March.
  2. John A. List, 2001. "Do Explicit Warnings Eliminate the Hypothetical Bias in Elicitation Procedures? Evidence from Field Auctions for Sportscards," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1498-1507, December.
  3. Zhao, Jinhua & Kling, Catherine L., 2001. "A new explanation for the WTP/WTA disparity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 293-300, December.
  4. Blomquist, Glenn C. & Whitehead, John C., 1998. "Resource quality information and validity of willingness to pay in contingent valuation," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 179-196, June.
  5. Karl C. Samples & John A. Dixon & KMarcia M. Gowen, 1986. "Information Disclosure and Endangered Species Valuation," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 62(3), pages 306-312.
  6. Cameron, Trudy Ann, 1988. "A new paradigm for valuing non-market goods using referendum data: Maximum likelihood estimation by censored logistic regression," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 355-379, September.
  7. Randall, Alan & Stoll, John R, 1980. "Consumer's Surplus in Commodity Space," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 449-55, June.
  8. Hanemann, W. Michael, 1989. "Information and the concept of option value," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 23-37, January.
  9. Carol Mansfield, 1999. "Despairing Over Disparities: Explaining the Difference Between Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Accept," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 13(2), pages 219-234, March.
  10. Horowitz, John K. & McConnell, Kenneth E., 2002. "A Review of WTA/WTP Studies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 426-447, November.
  11. Arrow, Kenneth J & Fisher, Anthony C, 1974. "Environmental Preservation, Uncertainty, and Irreversibility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 312-19, May.
  12. 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.
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