Externally validating contingent valuation: An open-space survey and referendum in Corvallis, Oregon

Christian A. Vossler, Joe Kerkvliet, Stephen Polasky, Olesya Gainutdinova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations

Abstract

We ask whether respondents report the same decisions in non-binding surveys as they do in real elections. We study a Corvallis, OR referendum to raise open space funds and find survey and election compatibility pivots on the characterization of "undecided" responses. The survey and referendum percentage of "yes" votes match closely only if "undecided" responses are treated as "no". We compare survey-based mean willingness to pay (WTP) estimates with election-based estimates. Household WTP averages US$ 48.89 using election results, while survey-based WTP averages US$ 75.43 excluding "undecided responses", US$ 49.67 treating "undecided responses" as "no", and between US$ 49.96 and 80.05.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-277
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Volume51
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2003

Keywords

  • Contingent valuation
  • External validation
  • Referendum
  • Willingness to pay

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