Using Discrete Choice Experiments to Derive Individual-Specific WTP Estimates for Landscape Improvements under Agri-Environmental Schemes: Evidence from the Rural Environment Protection Scheme in Ireland
Reported in this paper are the findings from two discrete choice experiments that were carried out to address the value of a number of farm landscape improvement measures within the Rural Environment Protection (REP) Scheme in Ireland. Image manipulation software is used to prepare photorealistic simulations representing the landscape attributes across three levels to accurately represent what is achievable within the Scheme. Using a mixed logit specification willingness to pay (WTP) distributions based on the parameter estimates obtained from the individual conditional distributions are derived. These estimates are subsequently adjusted and combined to account for baselines and levels of improvement resulting from the implementation of the REP Scheme. Individual-specific WTP estimates are thus obtained for the contribution of the Scheme to rural landscapes and are subsequently contrasted with the average cost of the Scheme across the Irish adult population. Results indicate that the Scheme contributes substantial benefits to rural landscapes.
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