Referendum design and contingent valuation: The NOAA panel's no-vote recommendation

Richard T. Carson, W. Michael Hanemann, Raymond J. Kopp, Jon A. Krosnick, Robert Cameron Mitchell, Stanley Presser, Paul A. Ruud, V. Kerry Smith, Michael Conaway, Kerry Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


This paper considers the effects for offering a "would-not-vote" option in contingent valuation (CV) questions framed using the referendum format. This approach arises from a suggestion made by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) panel on contingent valuation. The NOAA panel was asked to evaluate the use of this method for estimating the economic value of nonmarketed environmental resources in the context of natural resource damage assessments. This test used the CV questionnaire developed for the study of the Exxon Valdez oil spill conducted by the State of Alaska with in-person interviews. The findings suggest that when those selecting the "would-not-vote" response are treated as having voted "against" the program (a conservative coding), offering this option does not alter (1) the distribution of "for" and "against" responses (2) the estimates of willingness to pay derived from these choices, or (3) the construct validity of the results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)484-487
Number of pages4
JournalReview of Economics and Statistics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics


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