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Valuing the cultural monuments of Armenia: Bayesian updating of prior beliefs in contingent valuation

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  • Anna Alberini
  • Alberto Longo

Abstract

The most appropriate way to measure the social benefits of conserving built cultural heritage sites is to ask the beneficiaries of conservation interventions how much they would be willing to pay for them. We use contingent valuation—a survey-based approach that elicits willingness to pay (WTP) directly from individuals—to estimate the benefits of a nationwide conservation of built cultural heritage sites in Armenia. The survey was administered to Armenian nationals living in Armenia, and obtained extensive information about the respondents’ perceptions of the current state of conservation of monuments in Armenia, described the current situation, presented a hypothetical conservation program, elicited WTP for it, and queried individuals about what they thought would happen to monument sites in the absence of the government conservation program. We posit that respondents combined the information about the fate of monuments provided by the questionnaire with their prior beliefs, and that WTP for the good, or program, is likely to be affected by these updated beliefs. We propose a Bayesian updating model of prior beliefs, and empirically implement it with the data from our survey. We found that uncertainty about what would happen to monuments in the absence of the program results in lower WTP amounts.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Pion Ltd, London in its journal Environment and Planning A.

Volume (Year): 41 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (February)
Pages: 441-460

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Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:41:y:2009:i:2:p:441-460

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Web page: http://www.pion.co.uk

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  1. Bhattacharya, Soma & Alberini, Anna & Cropper, Maureen L., 2006. "The value of mortality risk reductions in Delhi, India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3995, The World Bank.
  2. Douglas Noonan, 2003. "Contingent Valuation and Cultural Resources: A Meta-Analytic Review of the Literature," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 159-176, November.
  3. Viscusi, W. Kip, 1985. "A Bayesian perspective on biases in risk perception," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 59-62.
  4. Ajzen, Icek & Brown, Thomas C. & Rosenthal, Lori H., 1996. "Information Bias in Contingent Valuation: Effects of Personal Relevance, Quality of Information, and Motivational Orientation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 43-57, January.
  5. David Throsby, 2003. "Determining the Value of Cultural Goods: How Much (or How Little) Does Contingent Valuation Tell Us?," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 275-285, November.
  6. Viscusi, W Kip, 1989. " Prospective Reference Theory: Toward an Explanation of the Paradoxes," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 235-63, September.
  7. Jennifer Tkac, 1998. "The Effects of Information on Willingness-to-Pay Values of Endangered Species," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1214-1220.
  8. Viscusi, W Kip & O'Connor, Charles J, 1984. "Adaptive Responses to Chemical Labeling: Are Workers Bayesian Decision Makers?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 942-56, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Mirko Moro & Karen Mayor & Seán Lyons & Richard S J Tol, 2013. "Does the housing market reflect cultural heritage? A case study of Greater Dublin," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 45(12), pages 2884-2903, December.
  2. Andrea M. Leiter & Gerald J. Pruckner, . "Proportionality of willingness to pay to small changes in risk - The impact of attitudinal factors in scope tests," Working Papers 2007-30, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  3. repec:cgt:wpaper:2014-01 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Liao, Shu-Yi & Tseng, Wei-Chun & Chen, Chi-Chung, 2010. "Eliciting public preference for nuclear energy against the backdrop of global warming," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 7054-7069, November.

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