How Can Behavioral Economics Inform Non-Market Valuation? An Example from the Preference Reversal Literature
Jonathan E. Alevy, John List, Wiktor Adamowicz
NBER Working Paper No. 16036
Issued in May 2010
NBER Program(s): PE
Psychological insights have made inroads within most major areas of study in economics. One area where less advance has been made is environmental and resource economics. In this study, we examine the implications of preference reversals over evaluation modes, in which stated economic values critically depend on whether the good is valued jointly with others or in isolation. The question arises because two commonly used methods for eliciting stated preferences differ in that one presents objects together and another presents objects to be evaluated in isolation. Beyond showing an example of the import of behavioral economics, our empirical evidence sheds new light on the factors associated with insensitivity of valuations to the scope of the good.