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

Anthony Ryan and Clive Spash

Journal of Economic Psychology, 2011, vol. 32, issue 5, 674-687

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.

Keywords: Contingent valuation; Environmental attitudes; Kahneman; Contribution model (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D81 H41 Q20 Q26 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:32:y:2011:i:5:p:674-687

DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2011.07.004

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