Resources Science ›› 2016, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (3): 501-511.doi: 10.18402/resci.2016.03.13

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A correction study of CVM hypothetical bias based on cheap talk for the Songhua River Basin

TONG Rui(), AO Changlin(), JIAO Yang, GAO Qin   

  1. College of Engineering,Northeast Agricultural University,Harbin 150030,China
  • Received:2015-07-27 Revised:2015-09-07 Online:2016-03-25 Published:2016-03-21


The Contingent Valuation Method (CVM)is one of the most widely used methods to estimate values,especially the non-use values of natural resources and environmental goods. As the hypothetical properties of elicitation,CVM has been disputed by the academic community for years. The purpose of this paper is to test the effect of cheap talk (CT)with promoting reminding scripts,to examine whether the reminder of substitutes is appropriate as an assistant means and to explore how ecological awareness and cognitive attitudes impact on respondents' willingness to pay(WTP). To do so,we took the Songhua River Basin as our research object and designed questionnaires into three treatments classified by different reminding scripts. By contrast,the reminder of substitutes was not suitable for estimating non-use values of environmental goods in that the concept of substitutes made the respondents confused and resulted in biased WTP. Instead,the CT assisted by content of budget constraints worked better and relieved the hypothetical bias. The WTP per capita evaluated with CT was between 248.71CNY/a and 258.81CNY/a and the non-use values of the Songhua River Basin were between 13.62billion and 14.17billion in 2012. The hypothetical bias cause by traditional survey methods accounted for 3.8% to 5.5% of total non-use value. Ecological awareness and cognitive attitudes influenced respondent WTP to different extents and this should be considered by decision-makers. These findings will be helpful in furthering research into CT and provides useful references for governmental environmental policy-making in China.

Key words: CVM, cheap talk, reminding scripts, willingness to pay, evaluation of non-use values, the Songhua River Basin