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Assessing Perceived Consequentiality: Evidence from a Contingent Valuation Survey on Global Climate Change

Mani Nepal, Robert P. Berrens, Alok K. Bohara


It has been argued that a key element for any contingent valuation (CV) study to provide valid preference information is that the survey must be perceived as potentially consequential to the respondent. In light of sustained debate about hypothetical bias, validity and the quest for consequential CV questions, we propose that respondent-based, self-assessed indicators (taken from a series of follow-up questions) could be used to investigate the consequentiality of a CV survey. Using an available data set, this exploratory investigation uses a set of such survey questions to construct four different indices of perceived consequentiality. Across these indices there is evidence of a significant consequentiality effect on U.S. household willingness to pay for efforts to mitigate global climate change, and significant differences in the preference functions of sub-samples with high and low indices of consequentiality.


Consequentialism, Contingent valuation, Global climate change, Kyoto Protocol, Willingness to pay

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