Behavioral implications of providing real incentives in stated choice experiments



Morkbak MR, Olsen SB & Campbell D (2014) Behavioral implications of providing real incentives in stated choice experiments. Journal of Economic Psychology, 45, pp. 102-116.

This paper explores the potential impacts of introducing real economic incentives in Choice Experiments (CE). While many others have investigated such impacts before, the majority of the literature has focused solely on mitigation of hypothetical bias. We contribute to this literature by widening the scope of research to other behavioural aspects where consumers in CE are often found to deviate from homo economicus. We develop a theoretical model where not only Willingness to pay (WTP) measures but also decision processing can be affected by the introduction of an economic incentive. Specifically, our model allows for differential impacts on attribute processing, depending on the character of the attribute as well as self-image effects. In an empirical CE survey, we find some, though not unequivocal, support of our model. Even though we find no impact on WTP from introducing an economic incentive, we find marked benefits in relation to a number of behavioural aspects that together would favour the use of an economic incentive regardless of hypothetical bias being present or not.

Choice experiments; Willingness to pay; Food choice; Real incentives; Non-attendance; Self-image

Journal of Economic Psychology: Volume 45

Publication date31/12/2014

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Professor Danny Campbell

Professor Danny Campbell

Professor, Economics