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Temporal Reliability of Estimates from Contingent Valuation

  • Kopp, Raymond

    ()

    (Resources for the Future)

  • Smith, V. Kerry
  • Mitchell, Robert
  • Presser, Stanley
  • Ruud, Paul
  • Hanemann, W. Michael
  • Krosnick, Jon
  • Carson, Richard

In 1992 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) convened a panel of prominent social scientists to assess the reliability of natural resource damage estimates derived from contingent valuation (CV). The product of the panel's deliberations was a report that laid out a set of recommended guidelines for CV survey design, administration, and data analysis. This paper focuses on one of these guidelines�the Panel's call for the "temporal averaging" of willingness-to-pay (WTP) responses obtained from CV surveys as one method for increasing their reliability. The panel suggested: "Time dependent measurement noise should be reduced by averaging across independently drawn samples taken at different points in time. A clear and substantial time trend in the responses would cast doubt on the 'reliability' of the finding." The purpose of this paper is to examine the temporal reliability of CV estimates. Our findings, using a CV instrument designed to measure willingness-to-pay for a program to protect Prince William Sound, Alaska from future oil spills, like the Exxon Valdez spill, exhibited no significant sensitivity to the timing of the interviews. For two samples involving independent interviews taken over two years apart, the distribution of respondents' choices "for" and "against" the protection program did not differ.

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Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-95-37.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 1995
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-95-37
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  1. OKUBO Toshihiro & Matthew A. COLE & Robert J.R. ELLIOTT, 2010. "Environmental Outsourcing," Discussion papers 10055, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  2. Peter A. Diamond & Jerry A. Hausman, 1994. "Contingent Valuation: Is Some Number Better than No Number?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 45-64, Fall.
  3. Alberini Anna, 1995. "Efficiency vs Bias of Willingness-to-Pay Estimates: Bivariate and Interval-Data Models," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 169-180, September.
  4. Trudy Ann Cameron & John Quiggin, 1992. "Estimation Using Contingent Valuation Data From a "Dichotomous Choice with Follow-Up" Questionnaire," UCLA Economics Working Papers 653, UCLA Department of Economics.
  5. Smith, V Kerry & Desvousges, William H, 1986. "The Value of Avoiding a Lulu: Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(2), pages 293-99, May.
  6. Loomis, John B., 1990. "Comparative reliability of the dichotomous choice and open-ended contingent valuation techniques," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 78-85, January.
  7. Kanninen Barbara J., 1995. "Bias in Discrete Response Contingent Valuation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 114-125, January.
  8. Paul R. Portney, 1994. "The Contingent Valuation Debate: Why Economists Should Care," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 3-17, Fall.
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