APEC Research Reports

Permanent URI for this collection


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 84
  • Item
    Is a Non-Representative Convenience Sample Good Enough? Insights from an Economic Experiment
    (Department of Applied Economics and Statistics, University of Delaware, Newark, DE., 2022-11-19) Sean F. Ellis; Olesya M. Savchenko; Kent D. Messer
    Keywords: Non-representative convenience sampling, field experiments, online recruitment, representative sampling
  • Item
    Are Consumers Really Willing to Pay More for Local Foods? A Field Experiment
    (Department of Applied Economics and Statistics, University of Delaware, Newark, DE., 2022-11-08) Kelly A. Davidson; Badri Khanal; Kent D. Messer
    Have local food promotion programs convinced consumers to pay more for local food? Studies to date, which have mostly relied on hypothetical stated preference surveys, have shown that local premiums exist but premiums vary by product and geographic identity. This study reports results from a field experiment involving 1,050 adult consumers to reveal consumers’ willingness to pay premiums for “locally produced” oysters and mushrooms. Despite strong statistical power, this study reveals no positive effect of the local label on consumer willingness to pay. These null results have important implications for state and federal agencies that promote often-generic local labeling campaigns.
  • Item
    It’s All Relative: Consistent Marginal Effects with Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Accept Framing in Experimental Auctions*
    (Department of Applied Economics and Statistics, University of Delaware, Newark, DE., 2022) Tongzhe Li; Laura A. Paul; Kent D. Messer; Harry M. Kaiser
    When eliciting consumer preferences for controversial products—an increasing number of which exist due to increasing demographic diversity and political polarization—conventional assumptions that all individuals derive positive marginal utility from consumption are challenged. It is relatively easy to adjust hypothetical stated preference questionnaires to include negative willingness to pay (WTP), but few studies on controversial products investigate how individuals behave using incentive-compatible revealed preference techniques. Using a framed field experiment with 292 adult subjects, we fill this gap by comparing the differences and similarities between a set of results that arise from the Becker-DeGroot-Marschak (BDM) mechanism between WTP versus willingness to accept (WTA) elicitation methods. This study has two main findings. First, in economic experiments eliciting preferences for controversial products, neither the WTP nor the WTA method fully discovers the true valuation range across all participants. Second, despite framing effects that give rise to different bid distributions, relative revealed preferences for the examined products are consistent under various interventions, indicating that WTP and WTA estimates have consistent policy implications.
  • Item
    Encouraging pro-environmental behavior: Do testimonials by experts work?
    (Department of Applied Economics and Statistics, University of Delaware, Newark, DE., 2022-09-30) Olesya M. Savchenko; Leah H. Palm-Forster; Lusi Xie; Rubait Rahman; Kent D. Messer
    Using behavioral nudges to motivate pro-environmental behavior appeals to program administrators seeking cost-effective ways to increase adoption of environmental practices. However, not all nudges are effective, and reporting when nudges fail is as important as documenting their successes. We used a framed field experiment with 308 adults from the Mid-Atlantic to test the effectiveness of an expert testimonial in encouraging adoption of native plants in residential settings. Though studies have found testimonials to be effective in other contexts, we find that the video testimonial had no effect on residents’ willingness to pay for native plants. Our analysis also shows that consumers who are younger, have higher incomes, and use other environmentally friendly practices on their lawns are more likely than other consumers to purchase native plants.
  • Item
    Back to the Source: Consumer Behavior in Response to Different Sources of Recycled Irrigation Water
    (Department of Applied Economics and Statistics, University of Delaware, Newark, DE., 2022-06-12) Messer, Kent D.; Ellis, Sean F.; Kecinski, Maik; Ganguly, Diya
    Using recycled water to irrigate agricultural products can be an effective solution to water scarcity. However, a better understanding of how society evaluates different sources of recycled water provides insights into potential demand-side barriers to adoption of these solutions. This paper implements a field economic experiment conducted in the Southwest and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States that evaluates consumers’ willingness-to-pay for three sources of recycled irrigation water: “gray”, “black”, and “produced”. Our analysis indicates that people consider certain sources of recycled water more acceptable for irrigating produce than others. Recycled gray water is preferred to recycled-produced water, and both are preferred to recycled black water. We also explore how adult consumers respond to scientific information about the benefits and risks of using recycled irrigation water, and find that it does not mitigate consumers’ concerns.