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Directional heterogeneity in WTP models for environmental valuation

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  • Schaafsma, Marije
  • Brouwer, Roy
  • Rose, John

Abstract

Many studies in the stated preference literature on environmental valuation do not include the effects of substitutes and distance in willingness-to-pay (WTP) models, in spite of the relevance of these effects in aggregation and benefit transfer. Heterogeneity in the availability of substitutes over space may cause multidirectional distance effects in WTP. As a result, disregarding this spatial heterogeneity may lead to biased estimators of the distance effect and associated WTP values (Cameron, 2006). In this paper, we demonstrate that distance decay is subject to significant directional effects which tend to be related to differences in the availability of substitutes across the study area. We apply a straightforward methodology to account for such spatial heterogeneity in choice experiments and assess the effect on WTP for improvements in ecosystem services in a lake district. We model distance-decay effects, whilst controlling for heterogeneity between users and non-users and non-use related WTP reasons. The directional effects result in significantly different WTP estimates, different market sizes reflecting the population with positive WTP, and differences in total WTP up to 32%.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 79 (2012)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 21-31

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:79:y:2012:i:c:p:21-31

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

Related research

Keywords: Choice experiment; Environmental valuation; Spatial heterogeneity; Distance decay; Substitutes;

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Cited by:
  1. Yao, Richard T. & Scarpa, Riccardo & Turner, James A. & Barnard, Tim D. & Rose, John M. & Palma, João H.N. & Harrison, Duncan R., 2014. "Valuing biodiversity enhancement in New Zealand's planted forests: Socioeconomic and spatial determinants of willingness-to-pay," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 90-101.
  2. Meyerhoff, Jürgen, 2013. "Do turbines in the vicinity of respondents' residences influence choices among programmes for future wind power generation?," Journal of choice modelling, Elsevier, vol. 7(C), pages 58-71.
  3. De Valck, Jeremy & Vlaeminck, Pieter & Liekens, Inge & Aertsens, Joris & Chen, Wendy & Vranken, Liesbet, 2012. "The sources of preference heterogeneity for nature restoration scenarios," Working Papers 146522, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centre for Agricultural and Food Economics.

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