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

  • Daniel Kahneman
  • Ilana Ritov
  • David Schkade
  • Steven J. Sherman
  • Hal R. Varian


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.

Key words

preferences attitudes contingent valuation psychology and economics utility assessment 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Kahneman
    • 1
  • Ilana Ritov
    • 2
  • David Schkade
    • 3
  • Steven J. Sherman
    • 4
  • Hal R. Varian
    • 5
  1. 1.Woodrow Wilson School of Public PolicyPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA
  2. 2.Hebrew UniversityJerusalemIsrael
  3. 3.University of TexasAustinUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  5. 5.School of Information & Management and SystemsUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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