IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Disentangling preferences and expectations in stated preference analysis with respondent uncertainty: The case of invasive species prevention


  • Provencher, Bill
  • Lewis, David J.
  • Anderson, Kathryn


Contingent valuation typically involves presenting the respondent with a choice to pay for a program intended to improve future outcomes, such as a program to place parcels into conservation easement, or a program to manage an invasive species. Deducing from these data the value of the good (or bad) at the core of the program – the welfare gain generated by a parcel of conserved land, for instance, or the loss incurred by a species invasion – often is not possible because respondent preferences are conflated with their expectations about future environmental outcomes in the absence of the program. This paper formally demonstrates this conundrum in the context of a standard contingent valuation survey, and examines the use of additional survey data to resolve it. The application is to the prevention of lake invasions by Eurasian Watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum), an invasive aquatic plant that is present in many lakes in the northern U.S. and Canada and a possible threat to many more. Respondents are shoreline property owners on lakes without Eurasian Watermilfoil. The estimated per-property welfare loss of a lake invasion is $30,550 for one model and $23,614 for another, both of which are in reasonable agreement with estimates obtained from a recent hedonic analysis of Eurasian Watermilfoil invasions in the study area [16], and from a companion contingent valuation survey of shoreline property owners on already-invaded lakes.

Suggested Citation

  • Provencher, Bill & Lewis, David J. & Anderson, Kathryn, 2012. "Disentangling preferences and expectations in stated preference analysis with respondent uncertainty: The case of invasive species prevention," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 169-182.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:64:y:2012:i:2:p:169-182
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jeem.2012.04.002

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

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

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eric J. Horsch & David J. Lewis, 2009. "The Effects of Aquatic Invasive Species on Property Values: Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 85(3), pages 391-409.
    2. Adamowicz, Wiktor & Swait, Joffre & Boxall, Peter & Louviere, Jordan & Williams, Michael, 1997. "Perceptions versus Objective Measures of Environmental Quality in Combined Revealed and Stated Preference Models of Environmental Valuation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 65-84, January.
    3. Kent F. Kovacs & Douglas M. Larson, 2008. "Identifying Individual Discount Rates and Valuing Public Open Space with Stated-Preference Models," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 84(2), pages 209-224.
    4. Alberini, Anna & Boyle, Kevin & Welsh, Michael, 2003. "Analysis of contingent valuation data with multiple bids and response options allowing respondents to express uncertainty," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 40-62, January.
    5. Charles F. Manski, 2004. "Measuring Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1329-1376, September.
    6. Berrens, Robert P. & Jenkins-Smith, Hank & Bohara, Alok K. & Silva, Carol L., 2002. "Further Investigation of Voluntary Contribution Contingent Valuation: Fair Share, Time of Contribution, and Respondent Uncertainty," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 144-168, July.
    7. Blomquist, Glenn C. & Whitehead, John C., 1998. "Resource quality information and validity of willingness to pay in contingent valuation," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 179-196, June.
    8. Rebecca Moore & Richard C. Bishop & Bill Provencher & Patricia A. Champ, 2010. "Accounting for Respondent Uncertainty to Improve Willingness-to-Pay Estimates," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 58(3), pages 381-401, September.
    9. Ready Richard C. & Whitehead John C. & Blomquist Glenn C., 1995. "Contingent Valuation When Respondents Are Ambivalent," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 181-196, September.
    10. Welsh, Michael P. & Poe, Gregory L., 1998. "Elicitation Effects in Contingent Valuation: Comparisons to a Multiple Bounded Discrete Choice Approach," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 170-185, September.
    11. Daniel Burghart & Trudy Cameron & Geoffrey Gerdes, 2007. "Valuing publicly sponsored research projects: Risks, scenario adjustments, and inattention," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 77-105, August.
    12. Li Chuan-Zhong & Mattsson Leif, 1995. "Discrete Choice under Preference Uncertainty: An Improved Structural Model for Contingent Valuation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 256-269, March.
    13. Karen Blumenschein & Magnus Johannesson & Glenn C. Blomquist & Bengt Liljas & Richard M. O’Conor, 1998. "Experimental Results on Expressed Certainty and Hypothetical Bias in Contingent Valuation," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(1), pages 169-177, July.
    14. Glenn Blomquist & Karen Blumenschein & Magnus Johannesson, 2009. "Eliciting Willingness to Pay without Bias using Follow-up Certainty Statements: Comparisons between Probably/Definitely and a 10-point Certainty Scale," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 43(4), pages 473-502, August.
    15. 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.
    16. Champ, Patricia A. & Bishop, Richard C. & Brown, Thomas C. & McCollum, Daniel W., 1997. "Using Donation Mechanisms to Value Nonuse Benefits from Public Goods," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 151-162, June.
    17. Delavande, Adeline & Giné, Xavier & McKenzie, David, 2011. "Measuring subjective expectations in developing countries: A critical review and new evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 151-163, March.
    18. Krinsky, Itzhak & Robb, A Leslie, 1986. "On Approximating the Statistical Properties of Elasticities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(4), pages 715-719, November.
    19. Samnaliev, Mihail & Stevens, Thomas H. & More, Thomas, 2006. "A comparison of alternative certainty calibration techniques in contingent valuation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 507-519, May.
    20. Wang, Hua & Whittington, Dale, 2005. "Measuring individuals' valuation distributions using a stochastic payment card approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 143-154, November.
    21. Hoehn, John P. & Randall, Alan, 2002. "The effect of resource quality information on resource injury perceptions and contingent values," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 13-31, February.
    22. Michael D. Hurd, 2009. "Subjective Probabilities in Household Surveys," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 543-564, May.
    23. Mary F. Evans & Nicholas E. Flores & Kevin J. Boyle, 2003. "Multiple-Bounded Uncertainty Choice Data as Probabilistic Intentions," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 79(4), pages 549-560.
    24. Patricia Champ & Richard Bishop, 2001. "Donation Payment Mechanisms and Contingent Valuation: An Empirical Study of Hypothetical Bias," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 19(4), pages 383-402, August.
    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. Johnston, Robert J. & Schultz, Eric T. & Segerson, Kathleen & Besedin, Elena Y. & Ramachandran, Mahesh, 2013. "Stated Preferences for Intermediate versus Final Ecosystem Services: Disentangling Willingness to Pay for Omitted Outcomes," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 42(01), pages 98-118, April.
    2. Lewis, David J. & Provencher, Bill & Beardmore, Ben, 2015. "Using an intervention framework to value salient ecosystem services in a stated preference experiment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 141-151.


    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:eee:jeeman:v:64:y:2012:i:2:p:169-182. 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: (Dana Niculescu). 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.