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Information and Learning in Stated-Preference Studies

Listed author(s):
  • Mikołaj Czajkowski

    ()

    (Faculty of Economics, University of Warsaw)

  • Nick Hanley

    ()

    (Department of Geography and Sustainable Development, University of St. Andrews)

  • Jacob LaRiviere

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Tennessee)

  • William S. Neilson

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Tennessee)

  • Katherine Simpson

    ()

    (Economics Division, University of Stirling, Scotland)

We use experimental variation to influence how people learn a given amount of objective, scientific information about an unfamiliar public good. We then estimate the impact of treatment on valuations for that good in a stated preference survey. Our main treatment, a pre-survey multiple choice quiz about objective public good attributes, increased learning rates by over 60%. We find that despite increasing learning and retention rates, treatment had no statistically significant impact on mean nor variance of the distribution of valuations. We show with a very simple theoretical model this result is consistent with a model of confirmatory bias used by agents in stated preference surveys and inconsistent with other models of preference formation.

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File URL: http://www.wne.uw.edu.pl/index.php/download_file/2941/
File Function: First version, 2016
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw in its series Working Papers with number 2016-20.

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Length: 54 pages
Date of creation: 2016
Handle: RePEc:war:wpaper:2016-20
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Web page: http://www.wne.uw.edu.pl/
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  1. Joshua Schwartzstein, 2014. "Selective Attention And Learning," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(6), pages 1423-1452, December.
  2. Huffman, Wallace E. & Rousu, Matthew & Shogren, Jason F. & Tegene, Abebayehu, 2007. "The effects of prior beliefs and learning on consumers' acceptance of genetically modified foods," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 193-206, May.
  3. Christian A. Vossler & Maurice Doyon & Daniel Rondeau, 2012. "Truth in Consequentiality: Theory and Field Evidence on Discrete Choice Experiments," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 145-171, November.
  4. Cameron, Trudy Ann & Englin, Jeffrey, 1997. "Respondent Experience and Contingent Valuation of Environmental Goods," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 296-313, July.
  5. Hanley, Nick & Shogren, Jason & White, Ben, 2013. "Introduction to Environmental Economics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780199568734.
  6. Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson & Guillermo Moloche & Stephen Weinberg, 2006. "Costly Information Acquisition: Experimental Analysis of a Boundedly Rational Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1043-1068, September.
  7. Mikołaj Czajkowski & Nick Hanley & Jacob LaRiviere, 2016. "Controlling for the Effects of Information in a Public Goods Discrete Choice Model," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 63(3), pages 523-544, March.
  8. Riccardo Scarpa & Mara Thiene & David A. Hensher, 2010. "Monitoring Choice Task Attribute Attendance in Nonmarket Valuation of Multiple Park Management Services: Does It Matter?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 86(4), pages 817-839.
  9. Smith, V Kerry & Johnson, F Reed, 1988. "How Do Risk Perceptions Respond to Information? The Case of Radon," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(1), pages 1-8, February.
  10. Smith, V Kerry & Desvousges, William H, 1990. "Risk Communication and the Value of Information: Radon as a Case Study," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(1), pages 137-142, February.
  11. Mikolaj Czajkowski & Nick Hanley & Jacob LaRiviere, 2015. "The Effects of Experience on Preferences: Theory and Empirics for Environmental Public Goods," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 97(1), pages 333-351.
  12. Botond Koszegi & Adam Szeidl, 2013. "A Model of Focusing in Economic Choice," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(1), pages 53-104.
  13. Richard T. Carson & Theodore Groves & John A. List, 2014. "Consequentiality: A Theoretical and Experimental Exploration of a Single Binary Choice," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 171-207.
  14. Andrew Caplin & Mark Dean, 2015. "Revealed Preference, Rational Inattention, and Costly Information Acquisition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(7), pages 2183-2203, July.
  15. Christian Vossler & Gregory Poe & P. Welsh & Robert Ethier, 2004. "Bid Design Effects in Multiple Bounded Discrete Choice Contingent Valuation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 29(4), pages 401-418, December.
  16. Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132-132.
  17. Rema Hanna & Sendhil Mullainathan & Joshua Schwartzstein, 2014. "Learning Through Noticing: Theory and Evidence from a Field Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(3), pages 1311-1353.
  18. Hanley, Nick & Czajkowski, Mikolaj & Hanley-Nickolls, Rose & Redpath, Steve, 2010. "Economic values of species management options in human-wildlife conflicts: Hen Harriers in Scotland," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 107-113, November.
  19. repec:sss:wpaper:201405 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Matthew Rabin & Joel L. Schrag, 1999. "First Impressions Matter: A Model of Confirmatory Bias," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 37-82.
  21. Riccardo Scarpa & Timothy J. Gilbride & Danny Campbell & David A. Hensher, 2009. "Modelling attribute non-attendance in choice experiments for rural landscape valuation," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 36(2), pages 151-174, June.
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