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Scale sensitivity and question order in the contingent valuation method

  • Henrik Andersson
  • Mikael Svensson

This study examines the effect on respondents' willingness to pay to reduce mortality risk by the order of the questions in a stated preference study. Using answers from an experiment conducted on a Swedish sample where respondents' cognitive ability was measured and where they participated in a contingent valuation survey, it was found that scale sensitivity is strongest when respondents are asked about a smaller risk reduction first ('bottom-up' approach). This contradicts some previous evidence in the literature. It was also found that the respondents' cognitive ability is more important for showing scale sensitivity when respondents are asked about a larger risk reduction first ('top-down' approach), also reinforcing the result that a 'bottom-up' approach is more consistent with answers in line with theoretical predictions for a larger proportion of respondents.

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Paper provided by LERNA, University of Toulouse in its series LERNA Working Papers with number 10.03.309.

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Date of creation: Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ler:wpaper:10.03.309
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