The citizen versus consumer hypothesis: Do welfare estimates differ?
Contingent valuation has been used extensively in estimating the value of environmental goods. One criticism of this approach, however, is that respondents in referendum-style contingent valuation surveys may express citizen assessments that take into account benefits to others rather than benefits that accrue purely to the respondent themselves. Within this context, the aim of this paper is to examine to what extent individuals express different preferences when adopting a personal or a social/citizen perspective. While this paper provides some support for the hypothesis that individuals express different preferences when adopting collective as opposed to personal choices, reported willingness to pay (WTP) was found to be insensitive to whether or not the respondents were asked the WTP question from a personal or social perspective.
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