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Testing Kahneman's Attitudinal WTP Hypothesis

Ryan, Anthony M. and Spash, Clive L. (2010): Testing Kahneman's Attitudinal WTP Hypothesis.

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Abstract

A psychological interpretation of willingness to pay (WTP) bids arising from the Contingent Valuation Method (CVM) claims they represent a general contribution towards environmental causes rather than a personal economic valuation. Yet the evidence supporting this contribution model has been criticised for using group mean correlations to draw conclusions about individual motives. This paper avoids this problem by examining motives at an individual level. Evidence reported shows the need to qualify the role of the attitudinal explanation. Some, but not all, positive WTP bids are found to be based on contributory rather than economic motives, while the decision to bid zero or positive appears to represent a general psychological appraisal rather than being purely related to attitudes.

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