Estimating Non-market Values of Marine Protected Areas: A Latent Class Modeling Approach
AbstractThe design of marine protected areas (MPAs) generates much discussion among marine scientists. Ecological studies have suggested that protecting 10 to 40% of regional ecosystems is needed to preserve diversity, while public preferences for MPA size have not been modeled. We conduct a choice experiment to estimate the value of protecting species and habitat diversity on the sea floor in areas that vary in size and allowable uses of the water column and apply a latent class specification to accommodate taste parameter heterogeneity. Results identify three latent classes in the sample and suggest that while protecting areas as ecological reserves is utility increasing for most size/use combinations, smaller reserves with liberal use policies produce the largest increases. Our research suggests diminishing marginal utility for MPA sizes that are substantially smaller than ranges often cited, and the distinct latent classes underscore the need to question the assumption of homogeneous preferences when evaluating MPA policy.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Marine Resources Foundation in its journal Marine Resource Economics.
Volume (Year): 23 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
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Web page: http://www.uri.edu/cels/enre/mre/mre.htm
Marine protected area; valuation; choice experiment; latent class.; Environmental Economics and Policy; Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies; Research Methods/ Statistical Methods; Q57.;
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- Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics
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