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    A laboratory experiment examined the potential for information bias in contingent valuation (CV). Consistent with the view that information about a public or private good can function as a persuasive communication, willingness to pay (WTP) was found to increase with the quality of arguments used to describe the good, especially under conditions of high personal relevance. Under low personal relevance, WTP for a publicbut not for a private. good was higher when an altruistic, as opposed to an individualistic, orientation was activated. It is concluded that the nature of the information provided in CV surveys can profoundly affect WTP estimates, and that subtle contextual cues can seriously bias these estimates under conditions of low personal relevance.

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    Ajzen, Icek; Brown, Thomas C.; Rosenthal, Lori H. 1996. Information bias in contingent valuation: effects of personal relevance, quality of information, and motivational orientation. Journal of environmental economics and management. 30(1): 43-57


    contingent valuation, willingness to pay, information bias

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