Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers in Economics,
University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics

No 706: Reducing the gap between stated and real behavior in transportation studies: The use of an oath script

Fredrik Carlsson (), Elina Lampi () and Hang Yin ()
Additional contact information
Fredrik Carlsson: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University, Postal: P.O.Box 640, SE 40530 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
Elina Lampi: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University, Postal: P.O., Box 640, SE 40530 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
Hang Yin: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University, Postal: P.O Box 640, SE 40530 GÖTEBORG, Sweden

Abstract: We investigate whether taking an oath in a survey situation affects respondent behavior in choice experiments with a focus on travel time, comfort, and cost. We conduct two studies in Beijing: one with car commuters and one with public transport commuters. Overall, we find little difference in behavior between responses with and without an oath. In fact, the only difference is that responses are more internally consistent in the version with an oath script: the respondents trade off money in terms of a fuel cost and in terms of a congestion charge in the same way. However, there is no statistically significant effect on marginal willingness to pay for any of the attributes.

Keywords: hypothetical bias; oath; stated preferences

JEL-codes: C80; D03; R41

22 pages, September 2017

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