Is WTP an attitudinal measure? Empirical analysis of the psychological explanation for contingent values

Anthony M. Ryan, Clive L. Spash*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    41 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Contingent valuation has been given a psychological interpretation, by Kahneman and colleagues, that claims willingness to pay bids represent psychological attitudes rather than personal economic valuations. Evidence reported here shows the need to qualify the role of this attitudinal explanation. In contradiction to the attitudinal hypothesis, the decision to bid zero or positive appears to represent a complex psychological appraisal. Furthermore, evidence of bid clustering on currency denominations implies fundamental differences concerning how people respond to a monetary scale. Whether interpreted as charitable contributions or imprecise welfare estimates there are serious implications for how economists interpret and use stated preference responses.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)674-687
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Economic Psychology
    Volume32
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011

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