Journal of Ocean and Coastal Economics

Document Type

Research Article


We compared hypothetical willingness to accept (WTA) values for Massachusetts saltwater recreational fishing licenses with WTA values obtained in an actual (simulated) marketplace. Using a dichotomous choice contingent valuation approach, our results align with past evidence that found WTA values elicited from hypothetical transactions overstate those derived from an actual marketplace. We also provide the first evidence about the effectiveness of an ex-post certainty adjustment technique in a WTA environment. While the adjustment technique has been found to eliminate hypothetical bias in willingness to pay (WTP) settings, we find that when applied in a WTA setting, the approach mitigates but does not eliminate the overstated hypothetical WTA bias. We provide some theoretical conjecture as to the likely reasons why the certainty adjustment approach failed to remove the hypothetical WTA bias in our study and conclude with some practical policy implications.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.