Using Choice Experiments to Explore the Spatial Distribution of Willingness to Pay for Rural Landscape Improvements
We report findings from a choice experiment survey designed to estimate the economic benefits from policy measures which improve the rural landscape under an agri-environment scheme in the Republic of Ireland. Using a panel mixed logit specification to account for unobserved taste heterogeneity we derive individual- specific willingness to pay estimates for each respondent in the sample. We subsequently investigate the existence of spatial dependence of these estimates. Results suggest the existence of positive spatial autocorrelation for all rural landscape attributes. As a means of benefit transfer, kriging methods are employed to interpolate willingness to pay estimates across the whole of the Republic of Ireland. The kriged WTP surfaces confirm the existence of spatial dependence and illustrate the implied spatial variation and regional disparities in WTP for all the rural landscape improvements.
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