Subject pool effects among the general population and students: a choice experiment example Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2015 Taylor & Francis. Rising costs of conducting research coupled with limited budgets are forcing researchers to use samples of convenience. Students represent one such sample, but are students an appropriate population? The objective is to ascertain how students’ willingness to pay (WTP) differs from the general public’s WTP. Students and county residents are surveyed. Results suggest the study’s goal may determine if student responses are generalizable to the general population. The samples are similar in many characteristics, but WTP amounts vary. The student samples show some inconsistencies. If the goal is general behavioural inferences, the results provide support for the use of students. If the goal is to estimate specific WTPs for use in policy analysis, the use of students may not be advisable.

author list (cited authors)

  • Mjelde, J. W., Schwarzlose, A., Dudensing, R. M., Jin, Y., Cherrington, L. K., & Chen, J.

citation count

  • 5

publication date

  • December 2015