Resource quality information and validity of willingness to pay in contingent valuation
Elicitation of valid statements of contingent value requires survey participants who are familiar with the environmental resource change. A primary purpose of the contingent market must be to assure familiarity by providing information. Information about resource quality is important when incompletely informed respondents, say nonusers, perceive resource quality which diverges from true quality. Differences in perceived quality and true quality can be influenced as respondents learn from information in the contingent market. By presenting survey participants with information about four wetlands of varying qualities we test for information effects in a dichotomous choice contingent market for wetlands allocation. We find that information about quality is a determinant of willingness to pay for wetland preservation. Information about resource quality presented in contingent markets will result in more valid valuations of changes in allocations of environmental resources.
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