This paper reports the findings of a field experiment that explores the criterion validity of the contingent valuation (CV) method. The empirical experiment examined the disparity between hypothetical and actual willingness to pay (WTP) bids for Red Kite conservation in Wales. Hypothetical WTP was elicited using an open-ended CV instrument, while the actual WTP value was determined from actual donations to the Welsh Kite Trust—a charity set up to aid the conservation of Red Kites in Wales. The survey results indicate that hypothetical WTP was three times greater than the mean value of actual donations; this finding is consistent with a number of other criterion validity experiments. However, we also demonstrate equality of hypothetical and actual WTP among those who actually express a payment amount. Further investigations identify that an underlying cause of this disparity stems from the respondents of the CV survey overstating their intention of pay. This observation has potentially significant implication for CV design in that it suggests that the emphasis in design should be placed much more fully on initially determining whether people would actually pay at all.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics|
|Early online date||07 May 2007|
|Publication status||Published - 01 Jun 2007|