The Importance of Revealed Preferences

Fascinating poll result from Vanity Fair, but I don’t believe it for a minute. Saying you wouldn’t kill your favorite pet for $1 million is cheap talk. Actually declining an offer of $1 million in exchange for the life of your pet, by contrast, costs $1 million. How many people would really turn that offer down in these cash-strapped times? Some enterprising billionaire should start making real cash offers for the purposes of social science.

Of course as Justin Wolfers pointed out on Twitter earlier, if I’m wrong about this the implication is that the majority of pet owners are experiencing huge psychic returns that we’re not picking up on in conventional economic statistics.