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The Value of Improved Public Services : An Application of the Choice Experiment Method to Estimate the Value of Improved Wastewater Treatment Infrastructure in India

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  • Ekin Birol

    (Madras School of Economics)

  • Sukanya Das

Abstract

In this paper we employ a stated preference environmental valuation technique, namely the choice experiment method, to estimate local publics willingness to pay (WTP) for improvements in the capacity and technology of a sewage treatment plant (STP) in Chandernagore municipality, located on the banks of the River Ganga in India. A pilot choice experiment study is administered to 150 randomly selected Chandernagore residents and the data are analysed using the conditional logit model with interactions. The results reveal that residents of this municipality are willing to pay significant amounts in terms of higher monthly municipality taxes to ensure the full capacity of the STP is used for primary treatment and the technology is upgraded to enable secondary treatment. Overall, the results reported in this paper supports increased investments to improve the capacity and technology of STPs to reduce water pollution, and hence environmental and health risks that are currently threatening the sustainability of the economic, cultural and religious values this sacred river generates.

Suggested Citation

  • Ekin Birol & Sukanya Das, 2010. "The Value of Improved Public Services : An Application of the Choice Experiment Method to Estimate the Value of Improved Wastewater Treatment Infrastructure in India," Development Economics Working Papers 23062, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:eab:develo:23062
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    Keywords

    choice experiment method; conditional logit model; River Ganga; sewage treatment plant; water quality; water quantity;

    JEL classification:

    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
    • C87 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Econometric Software
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling

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