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Relating environmental attitudes and contingent values: how robust are methods for identifying preference heterogeneity?

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  • Gwendolyn Aldrich
  • Kristine Grimsrud
  • Jennifer Thacher

    ()

  • Matthew Kotchen

Abstract

We assess the importance and robustness of cluster analysis and latent class analysis as methods to account for unobserved heterogeneity. We provide a critique and comparison of both methods in the context of measuring environmental attitudes and a contingent valuation study involving endangered species. We find strong evidence of robustness for these methods: group characterization and assignment of individuals to groups are similar between methods, and willingness-to-pay estimates are consistent. In addition, there are significant differences in willingness-to-pay across environmental attitudinal groups, and we find that accounting for unobservable heterogeneity provides a significantly better fitting model. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Suggested Citation

  • Gwendolyn Aldrich & Kristine Grimsrud & Jennifer Thacher & Matthew Kotchen, 2007. "Relating environmental attitudes and contingent values: how robust are methods for identifying preference heterogeneity?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 37(4), pages 757-775, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:37:y:2007:i:4:p:757-775
    DOI: 10.1007/s10640-006-9054-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    9. Kotchen, Matthew J. & Reiling, Stephen D., 2000. "Environmental attitudes, motivations, and contingent valuation of nonuse values: a case study involving endangered species," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 93-107, January.
    10. Edward Morey & Jennifer Thacher & William Breffle, 2006. "Using Angler Characteristics and Attitudinal Data to Identify Environmental Preference Classes: A Latent-Class Model," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 34(1), pages 91-115, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. William Breffle & Edward Morey & Jennifer Thacher, 2011. "A Joint Latent-Class Model: Combining Likert-Scale Preference Statements With Choice Data to Harvest Preference Heterogeneity," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 50(1), pages 83-110, September.
    2. Pouta, Eija & Myyra, Sami & Hanninen, Harri, 2009. "Heterogeneous farmland owners: two approaches for objective based classification," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 50787, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Meldrum, James R., 2015. "Comparing different attitude statements in latent class models of stated preferences for managing an invasive forest pathogen," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 13-22.
    4. Stephane Hess & Nesha Beharry-Borg, 2012. "Accounting for Latent Attitudes in Willingness-to-Pay Studies: The Case of Coastal Water Quality Improvements in Tobago," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 52(1), pages 109-131, May.
    5. Angel Bujosa & Antoni Riera & Robert Hicks, 2010. "Combining Discrete and Continuous Representations of Preference Heterogeneity: A Latent Class Approach," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 47(4), pages 477-493, December.
    6. Moore, Christopher C. & Holmes, Thomas P. & Bell, Kathleen P., 2011. "An attribute-based approach to contingent valuation of forest protection programs," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 35-52, January.
    7. Läpple, Doris & Kelley, Hugh, 2013. "Understanding the uptake of organic farming: Accounting for heterogeneities among Irish farmers," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 11-19.
    8. Michela Faccioli & Mikołaj Czajkowski & Klaus Glenk & Julia Martin-Ortega, 2018. "Environmental attitudes and place identity as simultaneous determinants of preferences for environmental goods," Working Papers 2018-08, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    9. Morey, Edward & Thiene, Mara & De Salvo, Maria & Signorello, Giovanni, 2008. "Using attitudinal data to identify latent classes that vary in their preference for landscape preservation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1-2), pages 536-546, December.
    10. Meldrum, James R. & Champ, Patricia A. & Bond, Craig A., 2013. "Heterogeneous nonmarket benefits of managing white pine bluster rust in high-elevation pine forests," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 61-77.
    11. Cropper, Eric D. & McLeod, Donald M. & Bastian, Christopher T. & Keske, Catherine M. & Hoag, Dana L. & Cross, Jennifer E., 2012. "Factors Affecting Land Trust Agents’ Preferences for Conservation Easements," Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Mid-Continent Regional Science Association, vol. 42(2).
    12. Martínez-Espiñeira, Roberto & Lyssenko, Nikita, 2011. "Correcting for the endogeneity of pro-environment behavioral choices in contingent valuation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(8), pages 1435-1439, June.
    13. Edward Morey & Jennifer Thacher & William Breffle, 2006. "Using Angler Characteristics and Attitudinal Data to Identify Environmental Preference Classes: A Latent-Class Model," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 34(1), pages 91-115, May.
    14. Choi, Andy S. & Fielding, Kelly S., 2013. "Environmental attitudes as WTP predictors: A case study involving endangered species," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 24-32.
    15. repec:eee:soceco:v:69:y:2017:i:c:p:61-70 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Bartczak, Anna, 2015. "The role of social and environmental attitudes in non-market valuation," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 357-365.
    17. Halkos, George & Matsiori, Steriani, 2017. "Environmental attitude, motivations and values for marine biodiversity protection," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 61-70.
    18. Jacob Fishman & V. Kerry Smith, 2017. "Latent Tastes, Incomplete Stratification, and the Plausibility of Vertical Sorting Models," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 66(2), pages 339-361, February.
    19. Andy S. Choi & Kelly S. Fielding, 2016. "Cultural Attitudes as WTP Determinants: A Revised Cultural Worldview Scale," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(6), pages 1-18, June.
    20. Halkos, George & Matsiori, Steriani, 2017. "Estimating recreational values of coastal zones," MPRA Paper 80911, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. Gibson, Fiona & Pannell, David & Boxall, Peter & Burton, Michael & Johnston, Robert & Kragt, Marit & Rogers, Abbie & Rolfe, John, 2016. "Non-market valuation in the economic analysis of natural hazards," Working Papers 236941, University of Western Australia, School of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
    22. Araña, Jorge E. & León, Carmelo J., 2009. "Understanding the use of non-compensatory decision rules in discrete choice experiments: The role of emotions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(8-9), pages 2316-2326, June.

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