Coherent and Incoherent Valuation: A Problem With Contingent Valuation of Cultural Amenities

February, 2002

I aim to describe a new problem with contingent valuation studies, and to suggest the nature and severity of the difficulties in surmounting it.1 The source of the problem, in brief, is category-bound thinking. When people explore particular problems in isolation, they normalize them by comparing them to a cognitively accessible comparison set, consisting of cases from the same basic category.

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