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Enhancing the Content Validity of Stated Preference Valuation: The Structure and Function of Ecological Indicators

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Listed:
  • Robert J. Johnston
  • Eric T. Schultz
  • Kathleen Segerson
  • Elena Y. Besedin
  • Mahesh Ramachandran

Abstract

Stated preference surveys often provide ambiguous descriptions of ecological commodities, yielding welfare estimates that have unclear interpretations and cannot be linked to measurable outcomes. This paper proposes guidelines to promote ecological content validity in survey scenarios and defensible use of ecological information for welfare analysis. These guidelines are illustrated through an application to migratory fish restoration. Content validity is evaluated vis-á-vis norms for communication of ecological changes in the ecological literature. Findings suggest that less structured treatment of ecological commodities may lead to an omission of information that is relevant to respondents and essential for valid welfare estimation.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert J. Johnston & Eric T. Schultz & Kathleen Segerson & Elena Y. Besedin & Mahesh Ramachandran, 2012. "Enhancing the Content Validity of Stated Preference Valuation: The Structure and Function of Ecological Indicators," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 88(1), pages 102-120.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:88:y:2012:i:1:p:102-120
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Czajkowski, Mikolaj & Buszko-Briggs, Malgorzata & Hanley, Nick, 2009. "Valuing changes in forest biodiversity," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(12), pages 2910-2917, October.
    2. Johnston, Robert J. & Weaver, Thomas F. & Smith, Lynn A. & Swallow, Stephen K., 1995. "Contingent Valuation Focus Groups: Insights from Ethnographic Interview Techniques," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(01), pages 56-69, April.
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    4. Bateman, Ian J. & Day, Brett H. & Georgiou, Stavros & Lake, Iain, 2006. "The aggregation of environmental benefit values: Welfare measures, distance decay and total WTP," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 450-460, December.
    5. Michael P. McGonagle & Stephen K. Swallow, 2005. "Open Space and Public Access: A Contingent Choice Application to Coastal Preservation," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 81(4).
    6. Norwood, F. Bailey & Lusk, Jayson L., 2011. "A calibrated auction-conjoint valuation method: Valuing pork and eggs produced under differing animal welfare conditions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 80-94, July.
    7. Jakus, Paul M & Shaw, W Douglass, 2003. "Perceived Hazard and Product Choice: An Application to Recreational Site Choice," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 77-92, January.
    8. Johnston, Robert J. & Segerson, Kathleen & Schultz, Eric T. & Besedin, Elena Y. & Ramachandran, Mahesh, 2011. "Indices of biotic integrity in stated preference valuation of aquatic ecosystem services," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 1946-1956, September.
    9. Gregory L. Poe & Kelly L. Giraud & John B. Loomis, 2005. "Computational Methods for Measuring the Difference of Empirical Distributions," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(2), pages 353-365.
    10. Roberts, David C. & Boyer, Tracy A. & Lusk, Jayson L., 2008. "Preferences for environmental quality under uncertainty," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(4), pages 584-593, July.
    11. Nick Hanley & Sergio Colombo & Dugald Tinch & Andrew Black & Ashar Aftab, 2006. "Estimating the benefits of water quality improvements under the Water Framework Directive: are benefits transferable?," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 33(3), pages 391-413, September.
    12. Jette Jacobsen & John Boiesen & Bo Thorsen & Niels Strange, 2008. "What’s in a name? The use of quantitative measures versus ‘Iconised’ species when valuing biodiversity," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 39(3), pages 247-263, March.
    13. Robert J. Johnston & Gisele Magnusson & Marisa J. Mazzotta & James J. Opaluch, 2002. "Combining Economic and Ecological Indicators to Prioritize Salt Marsh Restoration Actions," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1362-1370.
    14. Loomis, John & Kent, Paula & Strange, Liz & Fausch, Kurt & Covich, Alan, 2000. "Measuring the total economic value of restoring ecosystem services in an impaired river basin: results from a contingent valuation survey," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 103-117, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Robert Johnston & Mahesh Ramachandran, 2014. "Modeling Spatial Patchiness and Hot Spots in Stated Preference Willingness to Pay," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 59(3), pages 363-387, November.
    2. Walsh Patrick J. & Wheeler William J., 2013. "Water quality indices and benefit-cost analysis," Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 81-105, March.
    3. repec:eee:ecoser:v:22:y:2016:i:pb:p:381-391 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Abdulrahman, Abdulallah S & Johnston, Robert J, 2016. "Systematic Non-Response in Stated Preference Choice Experiments: Implications for the Valuation of Climate Risk Reductions," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235465, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Thomas Lundhede & Jette Bredahl Jacobsen & Nick Hanley & Niels Strange & Bo Jellesmark Thorsen, 2015. "Incorporating Outcome Uncertainty and Prior Outcome Beliefs in Stated Preferences," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 91(2), pages 296-316.
    6. 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.
    7. Baker, Rick & Ruting, Brad, 2014. "Environmental Policy Analysis: A Guide to Non‑Market Valuation," 2014 Conference (58th), February 4-7, 2014, Port Maquarie, Australia 165810, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    8. repec:eee:jeeman:v:85:y:2017:i:c:p:110-129 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:eee:ecoser:v:26:y:2017:i:pa:p:170-182 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Tagliafierro, C. & Boeri, M. & Longo, A. & Hutchinson, W.G., 2016. "Stated preference methods and landscape ecology indicators: An example of transdisciplinarity in landscape economic valuation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 11-22.
    11. Holland, Benedict M. & Johnston, Robert J., 2015. "Capturing More Relevant Measures of Spatial Heterogeneity in Stated Preference Willingness to Pay: Using an Iterative Grid Search Algorithm to Quantify Proximate Environmental Impacts," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205450, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    12. Holland, Benedict M. & Johnston, Robert J., 2014. "Spatially-Referenced Choice Experiments: Tests of Individualized Geocoding in Stated Preference Questionnaires," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 170191, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    13. Börger, Tobias & Beaumont, Nicola J. & Pendleton, Linwood & Boyle, Kevin J. & Cooper, Philip & Fletcher, Stephen & Haab, Tim & Hanemann, Michael & Hooper, Tara L. & Hussain, S. Salman & Portela, Rosim, 2014. "Incorporating ecosystem services in marine planning: The role of valuation," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 161-170.
    14. Minjuan Zhao & Robert Johnston & Eric Schultz, 2013. "What to Value and How? Ecological Indicator Choices in Stated Preference Valuation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 56(1), pages 3-25, September.
    15. repec:eee:ecoser:v:18:y:2016:i:c:p:45-57 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics

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