Matt Drake, Economics 2016, traveled to Asheville, NC on April 7 to present his independent study research, "The Effects of Tax Payment Amount and Schedule on Referendum Votes for a Public Good: A Comparison of SSI and MTurk Samples," at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. Here is the abstract:
The contingent valuation method is a survey approach to the valuation of public goods. Willingness to pay can be elicited through hypothetical referendum votes with randomly assigned tax payment amounts. Tax payment schedules can be one-time, where respondents are asked to pay a lump sum amount, or annual, where respondents are asked to pay each year. In this study we consider a 2 x 5 experimental design where each respondent was randomly assigned one of two payment schedules and one of five payment amounts. Theory predicts that respondents will be less likely to vote for the proposed policy as the cost rises. This theory applies to both the payment amount and schedule. The public good considered is an expansion of soccer player development for the U.S. Men’s National Team. Data was collected in November 2015 from the Survey Sampling International (SSI) online panel and Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) “workforce". Approximately 500 cases were collected from each sample which lends itself to a 2 x 5 x 2 experimental design. Analysis will begin with comparison of sample demographics and construction of weights to make the samples representative of the U.S. population. The regression model for an annual payment schedule suggests a total willingness to pay estimate of $129 and a one-time willingness to pay estimate of $288. The discount rate implied by respondents is found to be 47%
Estimated demand curves are downward sloping and respondents are more likely to vote for a one-time tax than an annual tax.
Matt also presented at App State's 19th Annual Celebration of Student Research and Creative Endeavors on April 21.