Are Preferences for Environmental Quality Sensitive to Financial Funding Schemes? Evidence from a Marine Restoration Programme in the Black Sea
This paper uses a non-market valuation study to elicit consumers’ preferences for a marine restoration programme in the Black Sea aiming to reduce the level of public health risk from bathing and improve water quality and the overall level of marine biodiversity. In this context, we administer a stated choice experiment in coastal settlements in Ukraine and Turkey and employ two tax revenue reallocation schemes as payment vehicles. One proposes the financing of the marine restoration programme by the reduction of the public budget for renewable energy and the second by the reduction of the public budget on training for civil servants. We examine the stated preferences and the subsequently derived economic value estimates in the two treatments with the aim to investigate whether the trade-off implied by the funding scheme has implications for the valuation outcome. Results reveal that preferences and marginal rates of substitution between the non-price attributes under consideration differ significantly. In the civil servants’ budget reallocation scheme, the reallocation coefficient is positive, implying that ceteris paribus redistribution of public financial resources from this source is utility-enhancing. The magnitude of the results differs in the two considered countries mirroring their heterogeneity in political and cultural dimensions.
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