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Evidence-based Research in Environmental Choice Experiments

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  • Kragt, Marit Ellen

Abstract

Results of choice experiment studies are widely claimed to provide valuable inputs into more efficient environmental policy development. The implicit price estimates for the attributes included in the choice experiment give policy makers an indication of the non-market values of environmental goods and services. There are, however, few standardised approaches to guide the choice of the environmental attributes. Although recent publications (Boyd and Krupnick, 2009; Johnston and Russell, 2011) stress the need to base the definition of non-market environmental attributes in ecological theory, choice experiment studies often give minimal evidence to support the choice of attributes. This paper reviews ten years’ worth of choice experiment studies in leading environmental economics journals. The aim of this study is to investigate on what basis the attributes and units used in the valuation studies were chosen, and how the survey development process is reported. The review shows that only very few published papers report the evidence sources on which the choice of attributes and their levels was based. The disjoint between evidence-based research method and the reporting of protocols in choice experiment valuation studies undermines the credibility of nonmarket value estimates to people outside the profession. There is a need for greater attention to transparent, evidence-based survey development to support more robust welfare estimates and withstand criticism.

Suggested Citation

  • Kragt, Marit Ellen, 2013. "Evidence-based Research in Environmental Choice Experiments," Working Papers 153335, University of Western Australia, School of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uwauwp:153335
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Marit E. Kragt & J.W. Bennett, 2011. "Using choice experiments to value catchment and estuary health in Tasmania with individual preference heterogeneity," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 55(2), pages 159-179, April.
    3. Domínguez-Torreiro, Marcos & Soliño, Mario, 2011. "Provided and perceived status quo in choice experiments: Implications for valuing the outputs of multifunctional rural areas," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(12), pages 2523-2531.
    4. Sergio Colombo & Javier Calatrava-Requena & Nick Hanley, 2007. "Testing Choice Experiment for Benefit Transfer with Preference Heterogeneity," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(1), pages 135-151.
    5. Johnston, Robert J. & Russell, Marc, 2011. "An operational structure for clarity in ecosystem service values," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(12), pages 2243-2249.
    6. Andrew Meyer, 2013. "Intertemporal Valuation of River Restoration," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 54(1), pages 41-61, January.
    7. Marit Kragt, 2013. "The Effects of Changing Cost Vectors on Choices and Scale Heterogeneity," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 54(2), pages 201-221, February.
    8. Tacconi, Luca, 1998. "Scientific methodology for ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 91-105, October.
    9. Danny Campbell, 2007. "Willingness to Pay for Rural Landscape Improvements: Combining Mixed Logit and Random-Effects Models," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(3), pages 467-483, September.
    10. Newell, Laurie W. & Swallow, Stephen K., 2013. "Real-payment choice experiments: Valuing forested wetlands and spatial attributes within a landscape context," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 37-47.
    11. Bennett, Jeffrey W., 2005. "Australasian environmental economics: contributions, conflicts and ‘cop-outs’," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 49(3), September.
    12. Colombo, Sergio & Calatrava-Requena, Javier & Conzalex-Roa, M.C., 2005. "Testing Choice Experiment for Benefit Transfer," 2005 International Congress, August 23-27, 2005, Copenhagen, Denmark 24747, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    13. Roy Brouwer & Julia Martin-Ortega & RJulio Berbel, 2010. "Spatial Preference Heterogeneity: A Choice Experiment," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 86(3).
    14. Brey, Raul & Riera, Pere & Mogas, Joan, 2007. "Estimation of forest values using choice modeling: An application to Spanish forests," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 305-312, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Attribute selection; Choice experiments; Environmental attributes; Evidence-based methods; Environmental Economics and Policy; Research Methods/ Statistical Methods; Q51; Q57;

    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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