Forecasting the Public's Acceptability of Municipal Water Regulation and Price Rationing for Communities on the Ogallala Aquifer
Among many, increasing the price of municipal water is considered to be the most effective mechanism for enhancing municipal water conservation, whether during times of drought or not. However, increasing the price of something that is considered to be, literally, a life-giving resource is politically taboo. This study follows two others that evaluate survey data with Likert scale responses, in determining whether or not constituents would outright reject the idea of using price to ration municipal water. But it goes several steps further--it controls for both community and respondent level variables, calculates and evaluates in-sample response probabilities, and most importantly, attempts to forecast the attitudes of constituents in communities that are not in our survey sample. In the end, our model produces both in-sample and out-of-sample response probabilities that are reasonable, and relatively stable across communities; it therefore provides communities and researchers with a means to gauge public support for pricing initiatives.
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NBER Working Papers
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