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Examining the perceptions and effects of survey consequentiality across population subgroups

  • O. Ashton Morgan (a1), William L. Huth (a2) and Paul Hindsley (a3)

Recent research examining voting behavior in contingent valuation referenda informs on how consequential survey respondents behave and its impact on willingness-to-pay (WTP) values. This research attempts to examine whether this behavior holds across population subgroups. We consider resident and nonresident users of artificial reefs and find improved construct validity for our resident models over nonresident models. Specifically, resident behavior is in line with a priori expectations with consequential residents more likely to vote in favor of a policy for additional reef funding – a result that is consistent with the “protest no” literature. Consequently, consequential resident voters exhibit a greater WTP than inconsequential voters. Nonresident behavior differs, however. For this subgroup, consequentiality does not influence voting behavior and WTP values do not differ by consequentiality. Overall, more work is required to appropriately identify WTP values for nonresident populations, particularly from a benefit-cost perspective, where appropriately identifying subgroup WTP values are a critical component of measuring the net present value of a given policy.

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Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis
  • ISSN: 2194-5888
  • EISSN: 2152-2812
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-benefit-cost-analysis
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