On the Contingent Valuation of Safety and the Safety of Contingent Valuation: Part 1-Caveat Investigator

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Abstract

This article reports the results of two studies aimed at testing and refining a procedure for estimating willingness-to-pay based monetary values of safety using the contingent valuation method. In spite of the fact that respondents were given the opportunity to discuss various safety issues and key concepts in focus group meetings held in advance of individual interviews, and were also given ample opportunity to revise their responses in the light of the overall pattern of these responses, the results show clear evidence of extensive and persistent insensitivity to the scale and scope of the safety improvements that were specified in the contingent valuation questions, as well as vulnerability to framing effects. This clearly casts serious doubt on the reliability and validity of willingness-to-pay based monetary values of safety estimated using conventional contingent valuation procedures.

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