Heterogeneous preferences for marine amenities: A choice experiment applied to water quality
The marine environment provides many goods and services dependent upon the quality of coastal waters. In this paper, we represent water quality by three different attributes, fish stock level, bathing water quality, and biodiversity level, and carry out a choice experiment among residents on the Swedish west coast to estimate the economic benefits of improved coastal water quality. We analyze data using the mixed multinomial logit model and explore various distributional assumptions and derive individual-specific parameters. Our results confirm heterogeneous preferences for these attributes and show that respondents have high levels of environmental concern and that substantial values are at stake. The most urgent action according to our findings is firstly to prevent further depletion of marine biodiversity and secondly to improve Swedish cod stocks.
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