Do Hypothetical Choices and Non-Choice Ratings Reveal Preferences?

B. Douglas Bernheim, Daniel Bjorkegren, Jeffrey Naecker, Antonio Rangel

NBER Working Paper No. 19269
Issued in August 2013
NBER Program(s):   PE

We develop a method for determining likely responses to a change in some economic condition (e.g., a policy) for settings in which either similar changes have not been observed, or it is challenging to identify observable exogenous causes of past changes. The method involves estimating statistical relationships across decision problems between choice frequencies and variables measuring non-choice reactions, and using those relationships along with additional non-choice data to predict choice frequencies under the envisioned conditions. In an experimental setting, we demonstrate that this method yields accurate measures of behavioral responses, while more standard methods are either inapplicable or highly inaccurate.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w19269

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