Motives behind willingness to pay for improving biodiversity in a water ecosystem: Economics, ethics and social psychology
This paper reports on empirical work extending the standard economic approach to valuation by including psychological and philosophical factors. More specifically a contingent valuation method survey was applied to biodiversity improvement while simultaneously assessing rights based beliefs, consequentialism and the theory of planned behaviour. The latter was assessed using measures of attitudes, subjective norms and perceptions of control over willingness to pay. The results show that standard socio-economic explanatory variables are far inferior to those of social psychology and philosophy, and that these factors offer a better understanding of the motives behind responses to contingent valuation. The implication is that alternative means of measuring an individual's pluralistic values should be taken into account in order to assess the validity and meaning of willingness to pay.
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