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Validating vignette and conjoint survey experiments against real-world behavior

Hainmueller, Jens, Hangartner, Dominik and Yamamoto, L. (2015) Validating vignette and conjoint survey experiments against real-world behavior. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112 (8). ISSN 0027-8424

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Identification Number: 10.1073/pnas.1416587112


Little evidence exists on whether preferences about hypothetical choices measured in a survey experiment are driven by the same structural determinants of the actual choices made in the real world. This study answers this question using a natural experiment as a behavioral benchmark. Comparing the results from conjoint and vignette experiments on which attributes of hypothetical immigrants generate support for naturalization with the outcomes of closely corresponding referendums in Switzerland, we find that the effects estimated from the surveys match the effects of the same attributes in the behavioral benchmark remarkably well. We also find that seemingly subtle differences in survey designs can produce significant differences in performance. Overall, the paired conjoint design performs the best.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 The Authors
Divisions: Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2017 11:26
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2024 23:57

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