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Imprecise preferences and survey design in contingent valuation

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Michael Jones-Lee, Professor Graham Loomes


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During recent years, the contingent valuation (CV) method has been widely used to value non-marketed goods and services. We present the results of a CV study of the value of road safety. We find that stated preferences for road safety exhibit considerable imprecision, appear subject to various systematic biases, and are insensitive to variations in the quantity and quality of the safety improvements concerned. One broad implication of these findings may be that, for an important class of goods (of which safety is one example), standard assumptions about the structure of people's preferences may be much too strong. A more specific implication, concerning the design and conduct of CV surveys, is that the NOAA Panel's widely cited blueprint for 'good CV practice' may rely far too heavily on assumptions about the precision and sensitivity of people's preferences.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dubourg WR, Jones-Lee MW, Loomes G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Economica

Year: 1997

Volume: 64

Issue: 256

Pages: 681-702

ISSN (print): 0013-0427

ISSN (electronic): 1468-0335

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1111/1468-0335.00106


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