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Referenda Under Oath

Nicolas Jacquemet (), Alexander James, Stéphane Luchini () and Jason Shogren ()
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Stéphane Luchini: CNRS and EHESS, Centre de la Vieille Charité

Environmental & Resource Economics, 2017, vol. 67, issue 3, 479-504

Abstract: Abstract Herein we explore whether a solemn oath can eliminate hypothetical bias in a voting referenda, a popular elicitation mechanism promoted in non-market valuation exercises for its incentive compatibility properties. First, we reject the null hypothesis that a hypothetical bias does not exist. Second, we observe that people who sign an oath are significantly less likely to vote for the public good in a hypothetical referenda. We complement this evidence with a self-reported measure of honesty which confirms that the oath increases truthfulness in answers. This result opens interesting avenues for improving the elicitation of preferences in the lab and beyond.

Keywords: Dichotomous choice mechanism; Hypothetical bias; Oath; Preference revelation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C9 H4 Q5 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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