, Volume 19, Issue 1-3, pp 203-235

Economic Preferences or Attitude Expressions?: An Analysis of Dollar Responses to Public Issues

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Abstract

Participants in contingent valuation surveys and jurors setting punitive damages in civil trials provide answers denominated in dollars. These answers are better understood as expressions of attitudes than as indications of economic preferences. Well-established characteristics of attitudes and of the core process of affective valuation explain several robust features of dollar responses: high correlations with other measures of attractiveness or aversiveness, insensitivity to scope, preference reversals, and the high variability of dollar responses relative to other measures of the same attitude.