On the Advantages and Disadvantages of Subjective Measures

Published in: Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Vol. 98, Feb. 2014, p. 97-114

Posted on RAND.org on April 15, 2016

by Salar Jahedi, Fabio Méndez

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This paper utilizes data from a laboratory experiment in order to examine the advantages and disadvantages of subjective measures. Our results indicate good and bad news: subjective measures correlate highly with the variables they are designed to capture but they also systematically suffer from many economic and cognitive biases. Importantly, we find that subjective measures are often complements to objective measures, and that they may actually be preferable in use to objective measures in those cases where the two disagree with each another.

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