Truth in Consequentiality: Theory and Field Evidence on Discrete Choice Experiments
University of Tennessee, Knoxville - College of Business Administration - Department of Economics
Center for Interuniversity Research and Analysis on Organization (CIRANO)
University of Victoria - Department of Economics
affiliation not provided to SSRN
October 1, 2010
CIRANO - Scientific Publications 2010s-43
This paper explores methodological issues surrounding the use of discrete choice experiments to elicit values for public goods. We develop an explicit game-theoretic model of individual decisions to a series of choice sets, providing general conditions under which surveys with repeated binary choices are incentive compatible. We complement the theory with a framed field experiment, with treatments that span the spectrum from incentive compatible, financially binding decisions to decisions with no direct financial consequences. The results suggest truthful preference revelation is possible in surveys, provided that respondents view their decisions as having more than a weak chance of influencing policy.
Keywords: Discrete Choice Experiment, Framed Field Experiment, Mechanism Design Theory, Stated Preferences, Consequentiality
JEL Classification: C93, D72, D82, H41, Q51working papers series
Date posted: November 12, 2010
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