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Truth in Consequentiality: Theory and Field Evidence on Discrete Choice Experiments

Truth in Consequentiality: Theory and Field Evidence on Discrete Choice Experiments Abstract 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, providing conditions under which surveys with a single binary choice question, or sequence of binary choice questions, 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, provided that participants view their decisions as having more than a weak chance of influencing policy. (JEL C83, C93, H41, Q23 ) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Economic Journal: Microeconomics American Economic Association

Truth in Consequentiality: Theory and Field Evidence on Discrete Choice Experiments

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Publisher
American Economic Association
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 by the American Economic Association
Subject
Articles
ISSN
1945-7685
eISSN
1945-7685
DOI
10.1257/mic.4.4.145
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract 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, providing conditions under which surveys with a single binary choice question, or sequence of binary choice questions, 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, provided that participants view their decisions as having more than a weak chance of influencing policy. (JEL C83, C93, H41, Q23 )

Journal

American Economic Journal: MicroeconomicsAmerican Economic Association

Published: Nov 1, 2012

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