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Preferences for environmental quality under uncertainty

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  • Roberts, David C.
  • Boyer, Tracy A.
  • Lusk, Jayson L.

Abstract

Although the expected effects of environmental policies and interventions are rarely known with certainty, stated preference surveys rarely elicit preferences over uncertain environmental outcomes. This article presents empirical results challenging the view that ignoring such uncertainty during preference elicitation is of no consequence so long as people only care about final environmental states. We show that measured preferences for final environmental states, water quality in this case, depend on whether people choose between final states or between lotteries over final states. In contrast to the typical finding for monetary lotteries, we find significant under-weighting of low probability events related to water quality.

Suggested Citation

  • Roberts, David C. & Boyer, Tracy A. & Lusk, Jayson L., 2008. "Preferences for environmental quality under uncertainty," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(4), pages 584-593, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:66:y:2008:i:4:p:584-593
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    1. Gallardo, R. Karina & Wang, Qianqian, 2013. "Willingness to Pay for Pesticides' Environmental Features and Social Desirability Bias: The Case of Apple and Pear Growers," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 38(1), April.
    2. Chris Moore & Dennis Guignet & Kelly B. Maguire & Chris Dockins & Nathalie B. Simon, 2015. "A Stated Preference Study of the Chesapeake Bay and Watershed Lakes," NCEE Working Paper Series 201506, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Nov 2015.
    3. Thomas Lundhede & Jette Bredahl Jacobsen & Nick Hanley & Niels Strange & Bo Jellesmark Thorsen, 2015. "Incorporating Outcome Uncertainty and Prior Outcome Beliefs in Stated Preferences," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 91(2), pages 296-316.
    4. Williams, Galina & Rolfe, John, 2017. "Willingness to pay for emissions reduction: Application of choice modeling under uncertainty and different management options," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 302-311.
    5. Debnath, Deepayan & Stoecker, Arthur L. & Boyer, Tracy A. & Sanders, Larry D., 2011. "Integrated Reservoir Management under Stochastic Conditions," 2011 Annual Meeting, June 29-July 1, 2011, Banff, Alberta, Canada 108178, Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    6. Glenk, Klaus & Colombo, Sergio, 2013. "Modelling Outcome-Related Risk in Choice Experiments," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 57(4), December.
    7. Canales, Elizabeth & Bergtold, Jason S. & Williams, Jeffery & Peterson, Jeffrey, 2015. "Estimating farmers’ risk attitudes and risk premiums for the adoption of conservation practices under different contractual arrangements: A stated choice experiment," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205640, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    8. John Rolfe & Jill Windle & Jeff Bennett, 2008. "Designing choice experiments to incorporate tests for geographic scale and scope differences," Environmental Economics Research Hub Research Reports 0803, Environmental Economics Research Hub, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    9. Bond, Craig A. & Iverson, Terrence, 2011. "Modeling Information in Environmental Decision-Making," Western Economics Forum, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 10(02).
    10. repec:wsi:wepxxx:v:03:y:2017:i:01:n:s2382624x16500193 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. John Rolfe & Jill Windle, 2015. "Do Respondents Adjust Their Expected Utility in the Presence of an Outcome Certainty Attribute in a Choice Experiment?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 60(1), pages 125-142, January.
    12. Torres, Cati & Faccioli, Michela & Riera Font, Antoni, 2017. "Waiting or acting now? The effect on willingness-to-pay of delivering inherent uncertainty information in choice experiments," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 231-240.
    13. Beville, Stephen T. & Kerr, Geoffrey N. & Hughey, Kenneth F.D., 2012. "Valuing impacts of the invasive alga Didymosphenia geminata on recreational angling," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 1-10.
    14. 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.
    15. Robert J. Johnston & Eric T. Schultz & Kathleen Segerson & Elena Y. Besedin & Mahesh Ramachandran, 2012. "Enhancing the Content Validity of Stated Preference Valuation: The Structure and Function of Ecological Indicators," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 88(1), pages 102-120.
    16. Veronesi, Marcella & Chawla, Fabienne & Maurer, Max & Lienert, Judit, 2014. "Climate change and the willingness to pay to reduce ecological and health risks from wastewater flooding in urban centers and the environment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 1-10.
    17. Bartczak, Anna & Chilton, Susan & Meyerhoff, Jürgen, 2015. "Wildfires in Poland: The impact of risk preferences and loss aversion on environmental choices," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 300-309.
    18. Zack Dorner & Daniel A. Brent & Anke Leroux, 2016. "Preferences for Intrinsically Risky Attributes," Monash Economics Working Papers 32-16, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    19. Klaus Glenk & Sergio Colombo, 2013. "Modelling outcome-related risk in choice experiments," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 57(4), pages 559-578, October.
    20. Dorner, Zach & Brent, Daniel A. & Leroux, Anke, 2016. "Eliciting Risk Preferences for Intrinsic Attributes," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 236644, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    21. Debnath, Deepayan & Stoecker, Arthur L. & Epplin, Francis M., 2013. "Impact of Environmental Values on the Breakeven Price of Switchgrass," 2013 Annual Meeting, February 2-5, 2013, Orlando, Florida 142563, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    22. Catalina M. Torres Figuerola & Antoni Riera Font, 2009. "Defining environmental attributes as external costs in choice experiments: A discussion," CRE Working Papers (Documents de treball del CRE) 2009/1, Centre de Recerca Econòmica (UIB ·"Sa Nostra").
    23. Makriyannis, Christos & Johnston, Robert, 2016. "Welfare Analysis for Climate Risk Reductions: Are Current Treatments of Outcome Uncertainty Sufficient?," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235532, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    24. Van Houtven, George & Mansfield, Carol & Phaneuf, Daniel J. & von Haefen, Roger & Milstead, Bryan & Kenney, Melissa A. & Reckhow, Kenneth H., 2014. "Combining expert elicitation and stated preference methods to value ecosystem services from improved lake water quality," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 40-52.
    25. Mullen, Jeffrey D. & Calhoun, Kayla & Colson, Gregory & Kriesel, Warren, 2015. "Effects of Uncertainty on Support for Water Quality Improvement Programs," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205419, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.

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