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Does Don't Know Mean No? Analysis of 'Don't Know' Responses in Dichotomous Choice Contingent Valuation Questions

  • Peter A. Groothuis
  • John C. Whitehead

The 'don't know' response option in contingent valuation dichotomous choice questions is analysed using data from both willingness to pay and willingness to accept studies. An empirical analysis is conducted to determine whether respondents are stating a response similar to yes or no responses or a middle response. It is found that don't know responses are similar to no responses in the willingness to pay study. In the willingness to accept study, it is found that the 'don't know' responses are similar to a middle response. It is further suggested that researchers consider calculating ambivalence bounds when a don't know response is a middle response.

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Paper provided by East Carolina University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 9814.

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Handle: RePEc:wop:eacaec:9814
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  1. Richard T. Carson & W. Michael Hanemann & Raymond J. Kopp & Jon A. Krosnick & Robert C. Mitchell & Stanley Presser & Paul A. Ruud & Smith, V. Kerry, 1995. "Referendum Design and Contingent Valuation: TheNOAA Panel's No-Vote Recommendation," Working Papers 95-17, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  2. Milon, J. Walter, 1989. "Contingent valuation experiments for strategic behavior," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 293-308, November.
  3. Opaluch, James J. & Segerson, Kathleen, 1989. "Rational Roots Of "Irrational" Behavior: New Theories Of Economic Decision-Making," Northeastern Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 18(2), October.
  4. Ready Richard C. & Whitehead John C. & Blomquist Glenn C., 1995. "Contingent Valuation When Respondents Are Ambivalent," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 181-196, September.
  5. Wang, Hua, 1997. "Treatment of "Don't-Know" Responses in Contingent Valuation Surveys: A Random Valuation Model," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 219-232, February.
  6. Peter A. Groothuis & George Van Houtven & John C. Whitehead, . "Using Contingent Valuation to Measure the Compensation Required to Gain Community Acceptance of a LULU: The Case of a Hazardous Waste Disposal Facility," Working Papers 9709, East Carolina University, Department of Economics.
  7. Johannesson, Magnus & Johansson, Per-Olov & Kristrom, Bengt & Gerdtham, Ulf-G., 1993. "Willingness to pay for antihypertensive therapy -- further results," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 95-108, April.
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