Henrik Andersson, and Mikael Svensson, “Scale Sensitivity and Question Order in the Contingent Valuation Method”, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, vol. 57, n. 11, 2014, pp. 1746–1761.
This study examines the effect on respondents' willingness to pay to reduce mortality risk by the order of the questions in a stated preference study. Using answers from an experiment conducted on a Swedish sample where respondents’ cognitive ability was measured and where they participate in a contingent valuation survey it is found that scale sensitivity is the strongest when respondents are asked about a smaller risk reduction first (“Bottom-up” approach). This contradicts some previous evidence in the literature. It is also found that the respondents’ cognitive ability is more important for showing scale sensitivity when respondents are asked about a larger risk reduction first (“Top-down” approach), also reinforcing the result that a “Bottom-up” approach is more consistent with answers in line with theoretical predictions for a larger part of respondents.