IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Pesticides, Preference Heterogeneity and Environmental Taxes


  • Ali Chalak
  • Kelvin Balcombe
  • Alastair Bailey
  • Iain Fraser


In this paper we present results from two choice experiments (CE), designed to take account of the different negative externalities associated with pesticide use in agricultural production. For cereal production, the most probable impact of pesticide use is a reduction in environmental quality. For fruit and vegetable production, the negative externality is on consumer health. Using latent class models we find evidence of the presence of preference heterogeneity in addition to reasonably high willingness to pay (WTP) estimates for a reduction in the use of pesticides for both environmental quality and consumer health. To place our WTP estimates in a policy context we convert them into an equivalent pesticide tax by type of externality. Our tax estimates suggest that pesticide taxes based on the primary externality resulting from a particular mode of agricultural production are a credible policy option that warrants further consideration. Copyright (c) 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation (c) 2008 The Agricultural Economics Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Ali Chalak & Kelvin Balcombe & Alastair Bailey & Iain Fraser, 2008. "Pesticides, Preference Heterogeneity and Environmental Taxes," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 537-554, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jageco:v:59:y:2008:i:3:p:537-554

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Scarpa, Riccardo & Drucker, Adam G. & Anderson, Simon & Ferraes-Ehuan, Nancy & Gomez, Veronica & Risopatron, Carlos R. & Rubio-Leonel, Olga, 2003. "Valuing genetic resources in peasant economies: the case of 'hairless' creole pigs in Yucatan," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 427-443, July.
    2. Raymond J. G. M. Florax & Chiara M. Travisi & Peter Nijkamp, 2005. "A meta-analysis of the willingness to pay for reductions in pesticide risk exposure," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 32(4), pages 441-467, December.
    3. Wuyang Hu, 2004. "Trading off health, environmental and genetic modification attributes in food," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 31(3), pages 389-408, September.
    4. K. Balcombe & A. Bailey & A. Chalak & I. Fraser, 2007. "Bayesian Estimation of Willingness-to-pay Where Respondents Mis-report Their Preferences," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(3), pages 413-438, June.
    5. Greene, William H. & Hensher, David A., 2003. "A latent class model for discrete choice analysis: contrasts with mixed logit," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 681-698, September.
    6. Maria Travisi, Chiara & Nijkamp, Peter & Vindigni, Gabriella, 2006. "Pesticide risk valuation in empirical economics: a comparative approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 455-474, April.
    7. Lomborg,Bjørn, 2001. "The Skeptical Environmentalist," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521010689, March.
    8. Vivien Foster & Susana Mourato, 2000. "Valuing the Multiple Impacts of Pesticide Use in the UK: A Contingent Ranking Approach," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 1-21.
    9. Milon, J. Walter & Scrogin, David, 2006. "Latent preferences and valuation of wetland ecosystem restoration," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 162-175, February.
    10. Riccardo Scarpa & Mara Thiene, 2005. "Destination Choice Models for Rock Climbing in the Northeastern Alps: A Latent-Class Approach Based on Intensity of Preferences," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 81(3).
    11. Peter Boxall & Wiktor Adamowicz, 2002. "Understanding Heterogeneous Preferences in Random Utility Models: A Latent Class Approach," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 23(4), pages 421-446, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Abhijit Sharma & Alastair Bailey & Iain Fraser, 2011. "Technology Adoption and Pest Control Strategies Among UK Cereal Farmers: Evidence from Parametric and Nonparametric Count Data Models," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 73-92, February.
    2. Raja Chakir & Maia David & Estelle Gozlan & Aminata Sangare, 2016. "Valuing the Impacts of An Invasive Biological Control Agent: A Choice Experiment on the Asian Ladybird in France," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 619-638, September.
    3. Glenk, Klaus & Hall, Clare & Liebe, Ulf & Meyerhoff, Jürgen, 2012. "Preferences of Scotch malt whisky consumers for changes in pesticide use and origin of barley," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 719-731.
    4. Koistinen, Laura & Pouta, Eija & Heikkila, Jaakko & Forsman-Hugg, Sari & Kotro, Jaana & Makela, Jarmo & Niva, M., 2011. "Impact of meat type, methods of production, fat content, price and carbon footprint information on meat choice," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114710, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    5. Kloos, Julia & Tsegai, Daniel W., 2009. "Preferences for domestic water services in the Middle Olifants sub-basin of South Africa," Discussion Papers 49970, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:jageco:v:59:y:2008:i:3:p:537-554. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.