Mind the Gap: Stated versus Revealed Donations and the Differential Role of Behavioral Factors

J. A. Bouma and M. J. Koetse


This paper uses a contingent valuation study and an actual donation request to assess the impact of behavioral factors on hypothetical bias in stated willingness-to-pay estimates. Our findings indicate that both the number of respondents willing to donate and the amount they are willing to donate differ substantially between treatments. Behavioral factors play a substantial and significant role; in particular, the extent of warm glow derived from giving and expectations about other people’s behavior increase the extent of hypothetical bias in stated willingness-to-pay estimates. We suggest ways in which this may be incorporated in future contingent valuation study design. (JEL Q51)

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