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Dr. Jürgen Meyerhoff - Can cheap talk scripts in combination with opt-out reminders nail down fat yes-tails in choice experiments?

Thursday 19 December 2019, 11:00-12:00
Institute for Transport Studies, room 1.11, University of Leeds

Can cheap talk scripts in combination with opt-out reminders nail down fat yes-tails in choice experiments?

Speaker: Dr. Jürgen Meyerhoff, Research Associate, Environmental and Land Economics, TU Berlin

Thursday, 19th of Decemeber, 11:00-12:00
ITS room 1.11, University of Leeds.



The problem of fat yes-tail responses is well known from contingent valuation but has not been investigated thoroughly in the context of choice experiments. In this study, we use eight independent split-samples with nearly 3600 respondents and systematically combine four different bid vectors with a joint cheap talk (CT) and opt-out reminder (OOR) device. Bid vectors differ with the respect to the four highest bid values increasing to usually not used values in choice experiments. Results clearly show that without a CT&OOR device a strong fat-tail effect is present, and WTP estimates are seriously inflated. In contrast, when the same bid vectors are used in combination with the CT&OOR device, the fat tail problem is strongly mitigated and WTP estimates are close to each other. However, results also indicate that the CT&OOR device does not nail down fat tails completely. As we have only applied CT and OOR jointly, more research into the effect of these devices and their strength is thus needed. Another striking result is that the impact of the CT&OOR device varies across attributes. We speculate that this is an effect of respondents’ distance to the Baltic Sea and the varying non-use components of the attributes.

About Jürgen

Jürgen has been a Research Associate at Chair in Environmental and Land Economics, TU Berlin, since 1997. He is mainly working in the field of non-market valuation using contingent valuation as well as choice experiments in contexts such as externalities of renewable energy, biodiversity protection, coastal adaptation due to climate change orthe valuation of ecosystem services of forests. He has co-initiated the ENVECHO network about Discrete Choice Modelling in the field of environmental valuation ( and is an associate editor of the Journal of Choice Modelling.

His recent publications have included articles in Environmental and Resource Economics, Ecological Economics, Energy Policy and Energy Economics. For a full list, please see here.