Stated Preferences with Survey Consequentiality and Outcome Uncertainty: A Split Sample Discrete Choice Experiment

October 29, 2023

Environmental and Resource Economics 

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Stated preference studies are often based on the assumptions that proposed outcomes would realize with certainty and respondents believe their survey responses are consequential. This paper uses split sample treatments to test whether survey consequentiality and outcome uncertainty lead to differences in welfare measures, focusing on a discrete choice experiment on improving quality of electricity supply among business enterprises in Tanzania. Our results show that incorporating uncertainty not only affects the preferences for the attribute with uncertainty (duration of power outage) but also for a choice attribute with a precautionary feature (advanced outage notification). While outcome uncertainty and an additional survey script (a formal letter from a state-owned electric utility) to strengthen consequentiality have some influence on preferences and willingness to pay (WTP) estimates for certain attributes, we do not find significant implications on overall welfare estimates.