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Valuing environmental and health risk in agriculture: A choice experiment approach to pesticides in Italy


  • Travisi, Chiara Maria
  • Nijkamp, Peter


The widespread use of pesticides in agriculture shows a complex ramification of multiple negative externalities, ranging from food safety-related effects to the deterioration of farmland ecosystems. Recent research has demonstrated that the assessment of the economic implications of such negative processes is fraught with many uncertainties. This paper presents the results of an empirical study recently conducted in Northern Italy aimed at estimating the economic value of reducing the wide-ranging impacts of pesticide use, by deploying a Choice Experiment approach. The experimental design provides a meaningful tool to assign monetary values to the negative environmental effects associated with agrochemicals use. In this connection, the paper addresses in particular the reduction of farmland biodiversity, groundwater contamination and harm to human health. The resulting estimates confirm that, on average, respondents demonstrate a substantial willingness-to-pay a premium for agricultural goods (in particular, foodstuffs) produced in environmentally-benign ways.

Suggested Citation

  • Travisi, Chiara Maria & Nijkamp, Peter, 2008. "Valuing environmental and health risk in agriculture: A choice experiment approach to pesticides in Italy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(4), pages 598-607, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:67:y:2008:i:4:p:598-607

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Loureiro, Maria L. & Umberger, Wendy J., 2005. "Assessing Consumer Preferences for Country-of-Origin Labeling," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 37(01), pages 49-63, April.
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    7. Loureiro, Maria L. & Umberger, Wendy J., 2003. "Estimating Consumer Willingness to Pay for Country-of-Origin Labeling," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 28(02), August.
    8. Jayson L. Lusk & Darren Hudson, 2004. "Willingness-to-Pay Estimates and Their Relevance to Agribusiness Decision Making," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 26(2), pages 152-169.
    9. Cuyno, Leah C.M. & Norton, George W. & Rola, Agnes, 2001. "Economic analysis of environmental benefits of integrated pest management: a Philippine case study," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 25(2-3), September.
    10. Chiara M. Travisi & Peter Nijkamp, 2004. "Willingness to Pay for Agricultural Environmental Safety: Evidence from a Survey of Milan, Italy, Residents," Working Papers 2004.100, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    11. Isabell Goldberg & Jutta Roosen, 2007. "Scope insensitivity in health risk reduction studies: A comparison of choice experiments and the contingent valuation method for valuing safer food," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 123-144, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Moser, Riccarda & Raffaelli, Roberta & Thilmany, Dawn D., 2011. "Consumer Preferences for Fruit and Vegetables with Credence-Based Attributes: A Review," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA), vol. 14(2).
    3. Xin Yang & Michael Burton & Yinying Cai & Anlu Zhang, 2015. "Exploring Heterogeneous Preference for Farmland Non-market Values in Wuhan, Central China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(1), pages 1-13, December.
    4. Kouser, Shahzad & Qaim, Matin, 2012. "Valuing financial, health and environmental benefits of Bt cotton in Pakistan," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126544, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    5. Heikkila, Jaakko & Pouta, Eija & Forsman-Hugg, Sari & Makela, Johanna, 2010. "Consumer Intentions Of Buying Poultry Meat Under Perceived Biological, Chemical Or Technological Risk In Finland," 115th Joint EAAE/AAEA Seminar, September 15-17, 2010, Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany 116403, European Association of Agricultural Economists;Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    6. Finger, Robert & Möhring, Niklas & Dalhaus, Tobias & Böcker, Thomas, 2017. "Revisiting Pesticide Taxation Schemes," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 263-266.
    7. repec:pje:journl:article12vi is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Lopes Soares, Wagner & Firpo de Souza Porto, Marcelo, 2009. "Estimating the social cost of pesticide use: An assessment from acute poisoning in Brazil," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(10), pages 2721-2728, August.
    9. Costa, Cristina Amaro da & Santos, José Lima, 2016. "Estimating the demand curve for sustainable use of pesticides from contingent-valuation data," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 121-128.
    10. 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.
    11. Cerroni, Simone & Notaro, Sandra & Raffaelli, Roberta & Shaw, Douglass W., 2013. "The incorporation of subjective risks into choice experiments to test scenario adjustment," 2013 Second Congress, June 6-7, 2013, Parma, Italy 149894, Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA).
    12. Falavigna, Greta & Manello, Alessandro & Pavone, Sara, 2013. "Environmental efficiency, productivity and public funds: The case of the Italian agricultural industry," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 73-80.
    13. Kouser, Shahzad & Qaim, Matin, 2011. "Impact of Bt cotton on pesticide poisoning in smallholder agriculture: A panel data analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 2105-2113, September.
    14. Heikkila, Jaakko & Pouta, Eija & Forsman-Hugg, Sari & Makela, Johanna, 2011. "Consumer risk perceptions of zoonotic, chemical and gm risks: the case of poultry purchase intentions in Finland," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114551, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    15. Shahzad Kouser & Matin Qaim, 2012. "Valuing financial, health, and environmental benefits of Bt cotton in Pakistan," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 105, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    16. repec:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2015:i:1:p:12:d:61147 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Abedullah & Ali, Haseeb & Kouser, Shahzad, 2012. "Pesticide or Wastewater, Which One is Bigger Culprit for Acute Health Symptoms among Vegetable Growers in Pakistan’s Punjab," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126598, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    18. 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.
    19. Kountouris, Yiannis & Nakic, Zoran & Sauer, Johannes, 2015. "Political instability and non-market valuation: Evidence from Croatia," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 19-39.


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