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Theoretical incentive properties of contingent valuation questions: Do they matter in the field?


Schläpfer, Felix; Bräuer, Ingo (2007). Theoretical incentive properties of contingent valuation questions: Do they matter in the field? Ecological Economics, 62(3-4):451-460.

Abstract

Green et al. (1998) [Green, D., Jacowitz, K.E., Kahneman, D., McFadden, D., 1998. Referendum contigent valuation, anchoring, and willingness to pay for public goods. Resource and Energy Economics 20 (2), 85-116] show theoretically that stated preference questions about public services can be framed in such ways that if the subjects accept the frame the payoff­maximizing behavior will be to answer truthfully. One key element of such a theoretically incentive­compatible framing is that the (hypothetical) decision rule specified in the survey instrument is understood to be a majority rule rather than the efficiency rule typically used in cost­benefit analysis. We conducted field experiments in Germany and Switzerland to test if a referendum framing as suggested by Green et al. is effective in reducing strategic misrepresentation in a contingent valuation setting. We did not find the expected effects of the framing treatments on stated willingness to pay or on individuals' (stated) beliefs about the social choice context. The results do not support hopes that a theoretically incentive compatible framing could be purposefully used to invoke the specific beliefs about the linkage between responses and policy implementation that would make stated preference questions incentive compatible.

Green et al. (1998) [Green, D., Jacowitz, K.E., Kahneman, D., McFadden, D., 1998. Referendum contigent valuation, anchoring, and willingness to pay for public goods. Resource and Energy Economics 20 (2), 85-116] show theoretically that stated preference questions about public services can be framed in such ways that if the subjects accept the frame the payoff­maximizing behavior will be to answer truthfully. One key element of such a theoretically incentive­compatible framing is that the (hypothetical) decision rule specified in the survey instrument is understood to be a majority rule rather than the efficiency rule typically used in cost­benefit analysis. We conducted field experiments in Germany and Switzerland to test if a referendum framing as suggested by Green et al. is effective in reducing strategic misrepresentation in a contingent valuation setting. We did not find the expected effects of the framing treatments on stated willingness to pay or on individuals' (stated) beliefs about the social choice context. The results do not support hopes that a theoretically incentive compatible framing could be purposefully used to invoke the specific beliefs about the linkage between responses and policy implementation that would make stated preference questions incentive compatible.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:contingent valuation, incentives, public goods, stated preferences
Language:English
Date:2007
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:27
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:21
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0921-8009
Publisher DOI:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2006.07.006
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-2079

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