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The influence of cheap talk on willingness-to-pay ranges: some empirical evidence from a contingent valuation study

Pierre-Alexandre Mahieu (), Pere Riera and Marek Giergiczny

Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 2012, vol. 55, issue 6, 753-763

Abstract: Different instruments have been developed to mitigate the hypothetical bias in contingent valuation surveys. One, labelled ‘cheap talk’, warns participants about the hypothetical bias phenomenon prior to the valuation question. This paper investigates the effects of cheap talk on willingness-to-pay ranges, in a case study on remote mountain lakes. An open-ended follow-up question is added to a payment ladder to elicit the maximum amount an individual would definitely pay and the minimum amount above which they would definitely refuse to pay. The main conclusion is that cheap talk has no influence on the width of people’s willingness-to-pay range, but is effective at lowering the mean willingness-to-pay.

Date: 2012
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DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2011.626524

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