IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Individual and Household Willingness to Pay for Public Goods


  • John Quiggin


The issue of whether willingness to pay (WTP) for the benefits generated by a public good should be elicited on an individual or on a household basis is addressed. Differences between individual and household WTP may arise when members of the household are mutually altruistic. It is shown that, for general specifications of altruism, household WTP is less than the sum of household members' individual WTP. Implications for the choice between household and individual measures of WTP are considered, and issues in the elicitation of household WTP are addressed. Copyright 1998, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • John Quiggin, 1998. "Individual and Household Willingness to Pay for Public Goods," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(1), pages 58-63.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:80:y:1998:i:1:p:58-63

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

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

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Shogren, Jason F. & Seung Y. Shin & Dermot J. Hayes & James B. Kliebenstein, 1994. "Resolving Differences in Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Accept," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 255-270, March.
    2. Penders, Christopher L. & Staatz, John M. & Tefft, James F., 2000. "How does Agricultural Development Affect Child Nutrition in Mali?," Food Security International Development Policy Syntheses 11313, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    3. Jason F. Shogren & John A. Fox, 1996. "Consumer Preferences for Fresh Food Items with Multiple Quality Attributes: Evidence from an Experimental Auction of Pork Chops," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(4), pages 916-923.
    4. Fox, John A. & Shogren, J. & Hayes, Dermot J. & Kliebenstein, James, 1995. "Experimental Auctions to Measure Willingness to Pay for Food Safety," Staff General Research Papers Archive 5343, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    5. Smith, Lisa C. & Haddad, Lawrence James, 2000. "Explaining child malnutrition in developing countries: a cross-country analysis," Research reports 111, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. John M. Crespi & St)phan Marette, 2001. "How Should Food Safety Certification be Financed?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(4), pages 852-861.
    7. Auriol, Emmanuelle & Schilizzi, Steven, 2000. "Quality Signaling through Certification," 2000 Conference (44th), January 23-25, 2000, Sydney, Australia 123598, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    8. Klein, Benjamin & Leffler, Keith B, 1981. "The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 615-641, 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. Strand.J., 2001. "Public- and private-good values of statistical lives : results from a combined choice-experiment and contingent-valuation survey," Memorandum 31/2001, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    2. Venn, Tyron J. & Quiggin, John, 2007. "Accommodating indigenous cultural heritage values in resource assessment: Cape York Peninsula and the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2-3), pages 334-344, March.
    3. Venn, Tyron J. & Quiggin, John C., 2006. "Accommodating Indigenous Cultural Heritage Values in Resource Assessment," 2006 Conference (50th), February 8-10, 2006, Sydney, Australia 139919, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    4. Lindhjem, Henrik, 2007. "20 years of stated preference valuation of non-timber benefits from Fennoscandian forests: A meta-analysis," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 251-277, February.
    5. Munro, Alistair, 2005. "Household willingness to pay equals individual willingness to pay if and only if the household income pools," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 227-230, August.
    6. Delaney, Liam & O'Toole, Francis, 2008. "Individual, household and gender preferences for social transfers," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 348-359, June.
    7. Messer, Kent D. & Poe, Gregory L. & Schulze, William D., 2008. "The Value of Private Risk Versus the Value of Public Risk: An Experimental Analysis of the Johannesson et al. Conjecture," Working Papers 51141, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
    8. Udo Ebert, 2013. "The relationship between individual and household measures of WTP and WTA," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 40(2), pages 367-390, February.
    9. Martina Menon & Federico Perali & Marcella Veronesi, 2014. "Recovering Individual Preferences for Non-Market Goods: A Collective Travel-Cost Model," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 96(2), pages 438-457.
    10. Jon Strand, 2007. "Public-good valuation and intra-family allocation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 38(4), pages 527-543, December.
    11. Carlsson, Fredrik & He, Haoran & Martinsson, Peter & Qin, Ping & Sutter, Matthias, 2012. "Household decision making in rural China: Using experiments to estimate the influences of spouses," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 525-536.
    12. Barrio, Melina & Loureiro, Maria L., 2010. "A meta-analysis of contingent valuation forest studies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(5), pages 1023-1030, March.
    13. Smith, V. Kerry & Van Houtven, George, 1998. "Non-Market Valuation and the Household," Discussion Papers dp-98-31, Resources For the Future.
    14. Strand, Jon, 2006. "Valuation of environmental improvements in continuous time with mortality and morbidity effects," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 229-241, August.
    15. Jon Strand, 2005. "Individual and Household Values of Mortality Reductions with Intrahousehold Bargaining," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 217-236, September.
    16. V. Smith & George Van Houtven, 2004. "Recovering Hicksian Consumer Surplus within a Collective Model: Hausman's Method for the Household," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 28(2), pages 153-167, June.
    17. Mahmoud K. El-Jafari, 2013. "Palestinian Household Willingness and Ability to Pay for Public Utilities in The West Bank: The Case of Electricity and Water," Working Papers 784, Economic Research Forum, revised Oct 2013.
    18. Yang, Xiaojun & Carlsson, Fredrik, 2012. "Intra-household decisions making on intertemporal choices: An experimental study in rural China," Working Papers in Economics 537, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    19. Liam Delaney & Francis O’Toole, 2006. "Willingness to pay: individual or household?," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 30(4), pages 305-309, December.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    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:oup:ajagec:v:80:y:1998:i:1:p:58-63. 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: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum). 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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.