Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 383–402 | Cite as

Donation Payment Mechanisms and Contingent Valuation: An Empirical Study of Hypothetical Bias

  • Patricia A. Champ
  • Richard C. Bishop


Donation payment mechanisms are well suited forsome contingent valuation studies. In aneffort to better understand the discrepancythat has been consistently found between actualand hypothetical donations, we investigate anapproach to estimating actual willingness todonate using contingent donations with afollow-up question in which respondents ratethe level of certainty about their response tothe contingent donation question. The approachallows us to estimate the magnitude of thehypothetical bias and identify the respondentsresponsible for the bias. Identification ofthe respondents responsible for thehypothetical bias is the first step towarddeveloping an understanding of the causes andpossible remedies. In this study we find thatmost of the respondents (80%) to thecontingent donation question provide a responseconsistent with how we predict they wouldrespond in an actual donation situation.

actual donations calibration contingent donations contingent valuation hypothetical bias uncertainty 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia A. Champ
    • 1
  • Richard C. Bishop
    • 2
  1. 1.Rocky Mountain Research StationUSDA Forest ServiceFort CollinsUSA
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural and Applied EconomicsUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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