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Ponderous, Proficient or Professional? Survey Experience and Smartphone Effects in Stated Preference Research

Erlend Dancke Sandorf (), Kristine Grimsrud and Henrik Lindhjem
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Erlend Dancke Sandorf: Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Henrik Lindhjem: Menon Centre for Environmental and Resource Economics

Environmental & Resource Economics, 2022, vol. 81, issue 4, No 6, 807-832

Abstract: Abstract Stated preference surveys are increasingly conducted online using internet panel samples, where a fast-growing share of respondents answer on smartphones. These panel members range from novices to “professionals” in terms of previous survey experience. Little is known about the potential effects of smartphone responding and survey experience on the data quality of stated preference surveys. This paper uses a discrete choice experiment dataset on the Norwegian population’s willingness to pay to plant climate forests to explore how these two factors affect data quality. These data by type of response device, gathered using a probability-based internet panel, were combined with a unique dataset obtained from the survey company on respondents’ actual experience answering surveys on different types of devices. Our results show that differences in elicited preferences between smartphone and computer respondents are not caused by the device used, suggesting that initial concerns about smartphone responses may be exaggerated. Furthermore, more experience is associated with an increasing scale parameter (indicating lower error variance), but at a decreasing rate; and a higher propensity to choose the status quo (indicating possible simplifying strategies employed by respondents). Combined this suggest some optimal level of experience that is neither too high nor too low. We discuss the implications of our results for stated preference research and provide a few avenues for future research.

Keywords: Discrete choice experiments; Internet panels; Experienced respondents; Latent class; Scale; Device effects (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/s10640-022-00654-5

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