Decoy Effects in Choice Experiments and Contingent Valuation: Asymmetric Dominance

Ian J. Bateman, Alistair Munro and Gregory L. Poe


While a dominated choice involves a situation in which one option clearly dominates another on all relevant dimensions, an asymmetrically dominated choice typically arises where at least two options do not dominate each other and one (but not both) of those options does dominate a third option. We demonstrate that the introduction of such an asymmetrically dominated option can have a significant impact upon choices between non-dominated options within the same choice set for non-market goods. Furthermore, we show that this effect can then translate into significant impacts upon subsequent valuations for those non-dominated options. (JEL Q51)