Framing and Training to Induce Preference Learning in Choice Experiments

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Starting point bias is a common problem in closed-ended non-market valuation studies. This article analyses two possible methods to reduce starting point bias in choice experiments, namely to induce value learning through completion of a payment ladder and to induce institutional learning by framing the choice experiment in a familiar context. The two methods are applied in a valuation study of sustainable flatfish fisheries in the North Sea. The results of this study suggest that there is considerable public support for policies aimed at reducing damage to the benthic ecosystem, limiting fishing pressure during the plaice spawning period, and restoring spawning stock biomass of plaice and sole. The payment ladder has a strong impact on respondents' sensitivity to the cost variable in the choice experiment. Neither learning method, however, has a statistically significant effect on starting point bias
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-245
JournalMarine Resource Economics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • starting point bias
  • coherent arbitrariness
  • valuation
  • decisions
  • design
  • goods

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