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Full title Does Context Matter More for Hypothetical Than for Actual Contributions? Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment

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  • Alpizar, Francisco
  • Carlsson, Fredrik
  • Johansson-Stenman, Olof

Abstract

We investigated the importance of the social context for people’s voluntary contributions to a national park in Costa Rica, using a natural field experiment. Some subjects make actual contributions while others state their hypothetical contribution. Both the degree of anonymity and information provided about the contributions of others influence subject contributions in the hypothesized direction. We found a substantial hypothetical bias with regard to the amount contributed. However, the influence of the social contexts is about the same when the subjects make actual monetary contributions as when they state their hypothetical contributions. Our results have important implications for validity testing of stated preference methods: a comparison between hypothetical and actual behavior should be done for a given social context.

Suggested Citation

  • Alpizar, Francisco & Carlsson, Fredrik & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2008. "Full title Does Context Matter More for Hypothetical Than for Actual Contributions? Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment," Discussion Papers dp-08-02-efd, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-08-02-efd
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    File URL: http://www.rff.org/RFF/documents/EfD-DP-08-02.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Newman, George E. & Jeremy Shen, Y., 2012. "The counterintuitive effects of thank-you gifts on charitable giving," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 973-983.
    2. Juan Camilo Cárdenas, 2009. "Experiments in Environment and Development," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 157-182, September.
    3. Blanco, Esther & Lopez, Maria Claudia & Coleman, Eric A., 2012. "Voting for environmental donations: Experimental evidence from Majorca, Spain," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 52-60.
    4. Omar Al-Ubaydli & John A. List, 2013. "On the Generalizability of Experimental Results in Economics: With a Response to Commentors," CESifo Working Paper Series 4543, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Newell, Laurie W. & Swallow, Stephen K., 2013. "Real-payment choice experiments: Valuing forested wetlands and spatial attributes within a landscape context," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 37-47.
    6. Omar Al-Ubaydli & John A. List, 2013. "On the Generalizability of Experimental Results in Economics: With A Response To Camerer," NBER Working Papers 19666, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Jie He & Jérôme Dupras & Thomas G. Poder, 2018. "Payment and Provision Consequentiality in Voluntary Contribution Mechanism: Single or Double “Knife-Edge” Evidence?," Cahiers de recherche 18-02, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke.
    8. Carlsson, Fredrik & Kataria, Mitesh & Krupnick, Alan & Lampi, Elina & Löfgren, Åsa & Qin, Ping & Sterner, Thomas, 2013. "The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth—A multiple country test of an oath script," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 105-121.
    9. repec:kap:enreec:v:67:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10640-016-0028-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Konow, James, 2010. "Mixed feelings: Theories of and evidence on giving," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(3-4), pages 279-297, April.
    11. Kettner, Sara Elisa & Waichman, Israel, 2016. "Old age and prosocial behavior: Social preferences or experimental confounds?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 118-130.
    12. repec:eee:ecolec:v:144:y:2018:i:c:p:124-128 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental valuation; stated preference methods; voluntary contributions; anonymity; conformity; natural field experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General

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