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How Can Behavioral Economics Inform Non-Market Valuation? An Example from the Preference Reversal Literature

  • Jonathan E. Alevy
  • John List
  • Wiktor Adamowicz

Psychological insights have made inroads within most major areas of study in economics. One area where less advance has been made is environmental and resource economics. In this study, we examine the implications of preference reversals over evaluation modes, in which stated economic values critically depend on whether the good is valued jointly with others or in isolation. The question arises because two commonly used methods for eliciting stated preferences differ in that one presents objects together and another presents objects to be evaluated in isolation. Beyond showing an example of the import of behavioral economics, our empirical evidence sheds new light on the factors associated with insensitivity of valuations to the scope of the good.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16036.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16036.

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Date of creation: May 2010
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Publication status: published as Jonathan E. Alevy & John A. List & Wiktor L. Adamowicz, 2011. "How Can Behavioral Economics Inform Nonmarket Valuation? An Example from the Preference Reversal Literature," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 87(3), pages 365-381.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16036
Note: PE
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. Shogren, Jason F. & Margolis, Michael & Koo, Cannon & List, John A., 2001. "A random nth-price auction," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 409-421, December.
  2. Wiktor Adamowicz & Peter Boxall & Michael Williams & Jordan Louviere, 1998. "Stated Preference Approaches for Measuring Passive Use Values: Choice Experiments and Contingent Valuation," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(1), pages 64-75.
  3. Daniel Kahneman, 2003. "Maps of Bounded Rationality: Psychology for Behavioral Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1449-1475, December.
  4. Grether, David M & Plott, Charles R, 1979. "Economic Theory of Choice and the Preference Reversal Phenomenon," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(4), pages 623-38, September.
  5. William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, 03.
  6. John A. List, 2003. "Does Market Experience Eliminate Market Anomalies?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 41-71, February.
  7. Adamowicz, Wiktor L. & Boxall, Peter C. & Williams, Michael & Louviere, Jordan, 1995. "Stated Preference Approaches for Measuring Passive Use Values: Choice Experiments versus Contingent Valuation," Staff Paper Series 24126, University of Alberta, Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology.
  8. Magat, Wesley A. & Kip Viscusi, W. & Huber, Joel, 1988. "Paired comparison and contingent valuation approaches to morbidity risk valuation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 395-411, December.
  9. John A. List, 2002. "Preference Reversals of a Different Kind: The "More Is Less" Phenomenon," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1636-1643, December.
  10. Bazerman, Max H. & Moore, Don A. & Tenbrunsel, Ann E. & Wade-Benzoni, Kimberly A. & Blount, Sally, 1999. "Explaining how preferences change across joint versus separate evaluation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 41-58, May.
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  12. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L., 1992. "Valuing public goods: The purchase of moral satisfaction," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 57-70, January.
  13. Slovic, Paul & Finucane, Melissa L. & Peters, Ellen & MacGregor, Donald G., 2007. "The affect heuristic," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 177(3), pages 1333-1352, March.
  14. Irwin, Julie R, et al, 1993. " Preference Reversals and the Measurement of Environmental Values," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 5-18, January.
  15. Heberlein, Thomas A. & Wilson, Matthew A. & Bishop, Richard C. & Schaeffer, Nora Cate, 2005. "Rethinking the scope test as a criterion for validity in contingent valuation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 1-22, July.
  16. Richard Carson & Nicholas Flores & Norman Meade, 2001. "Contingent Valuation: Controversies and Evidence," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 19(2), pages 173-210, June.
  17. 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.
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