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An experimental investigation of the disparity between WTA and WTP for lotteries

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  • Schmidt, Ulrich
  • Traub, Stefan

Abstract

In this paper we experimentally investigate the disparity between willingness-to-accept (WTA) and willingness-to-pay (WTP) for risky lotteries. The direction of the income effect is reversed by endowing subjects with the highest price of a lottery when asking the WTP question. Our results show that the income effect is too small to be the only source of the disparity. Since the disparity concentrates on a subsample of subjects, parametric and nonparametric tests of the WTA-WTP ratio may lead to contradictory results. The disparity is significantly reduced when background risk is introduced. That is, putting subjects always into a risky position could improve the contingent valuation method, which is often concerned with the assessment of risky situations such as health risks, automobile safety, etc.

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  • Schmidt, Ulrich & Traub, Stefan, 2009. "An experimental investigation of the disparity between WTA and WTP for lotteries," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 28786, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwkie:28786
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    Cited by:

    1. John Hey & Andrea Morone & Ulrich Schmidt, 2009. "Noise and bias in eliciting preferences," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 213-235, December.
    2. Kontek, Krzysztof, 2010. "Density Based Regression for Inhomogeneous Data: Application to Lottery Experiments," MPRA Paper 22268, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Tunçel, Tuba & Hammitt, James K., 2014. "A new meta-analysis on the WTP/WTA disparity," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 175-187.
    4. Kontek, Krzysztof, 2010. "Mean, Median or Mode? A Striking Conclusion From Lottery Experiments," MPRA Paper 21758, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Shosh Shahrabani & Uri Benzion & Tal Shavit, 2008. "WTP and WTA in competitive and non-competitive environments," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 3, pages 153-161, February.
    6. Raphaël Giraud, 2012. "Money matters: an axiomatic theory of the endowment effect," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 50(2), pages 303-339, June.
    7. Uri Benzion & Shosh Shahrabani & Tal Shavit, 2013. "Retesting The Uncertainty Effect Using Lotteries With Real Products And Money," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65, pages 175-186, May.
    8. Raphaël Giraud, 2010. "On the interpretation of the WTP/WTA gap as imprecise utility: an axiomatic analysis," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(1), pages 692-701.
    9. Chen Li & Zhihua Li & Peter Wakker, 2014. "If nudge cannot be applied: a litmus test of the readers’ stance on paternalism," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 76(3), pages 297-315, March.
    10. Trautmann, Stefan T. & Schmidt, Ulrich, 2011. "Pricing risk and ambiguity: The effect of perspective taking," Kiel Working Papers 1727, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    11. Isabel Marcin & Andreas Nicklisch, 2014. "Testing the Endowment Effect for Default Rules," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2014_01, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    12. Kontek, Krzysztof, 2010. "Estimation of Peaked Densities Over the Interval [0,1] Using Two-Sided Power Distribution: Application to Lottery Experiments," MPRA Paper 22378, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Robert Reilly & Douglas Davis, 2015. "The effects of uncertainty on the WTA–WTP gap," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 78(2), pages 261-272, February.
    14. Trautmann, Stefan T. & Traxler, Christian, 2010. "Reserve prices as reference points - Evidence from auctions for football players at Hattrick.org," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 230-240, April.
    15. Kontek, Krzysztof, 2010. "Classifying Behaviors in Risky Choices," MPRA Paper 23845, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Tibor Neugebauer, 2010. "Moral Impossibility in the Petersburg Paradox : A Literature Survey and Experimental Evidence," LSF Research Working Paper Series 10-14, Luxembourg School of Finance, University of Luxembourg.
    17. Heinrich, Timo & Seifert, Matthias & Then, Franziska, 2020. "Near-losses in insurance markets: An experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 186(C).
    18. Shavit Tal & Benzion Uri & Shahrabani Shosh, 2010. "Risk attitude in lotteries offering real products and monetary outcomes," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 6(2), pages 253-261, June.
    19. Hongli Xu & Hai Yang & Jing Zhou & Yafeng Yin, 2017. "A Route Choice Model with Context-Dependent Value of Time," Transportation Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(2), pages 536-548, May.
    20. Roth, Gerrit, 2006. "Predicting the Gap between Willingness to Accept and Willingness to Pay," Munich Dissertations in Economics 4901, University of Munich, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    WTA-WTP disparity; lotteries; background risk; contingent valuation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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