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Environmental attitudes and place identity as simultaneous determinants of preferences for environmental goods

Author

Listed:
  • Michela Faccioli

    () (: Land, Environment, Economics and Policy Institute (LEEP), University of Exeter)

  • Mikołaj Czajkowski

    (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw)

  • Klaus Glenk

    (Land Economy & Environment, Scotland’s Rural College)

  • Julia Martin-Ortega

    (Sustainability Research Institute, University of Leeds)

Abstract

Economic valuation is frequently employed to provide evidence of people's preferences for environmental goods. However, it is also often criticised for providing a simplified representation of preferences, with many factors that affect value formation not accounted for. This is the case of environmental attitudes and especially place identity perceptions, which have been largely overlooked in economic valuation, despite representing amongst the most important drivers of people's behaviour towards the environment, according to the environmental psychology and sociology literature. To address this gap, we designed and conducted a choice experiment where we explored the simultaneous role of environmental attitudes and place identity perceptions on willingness to pay (WTP), taking peatland restoration in Scotland as a case study. This study adds to the existing literature in that no valuation study to date has simultaneously integrated both aspects in preference modelling. Given that both factors are potentially strong drivers of preferences, focusing only on one or the other provides a partial picture of the determinants of WTP. Moreover, we do not just look at 'generic' environmental attitudes, but also at ‘specific’ environmental attitudes. Our results, estimated through a novel and econometrically robust approach based on the hybrid choice model, show that people with more positive environmental attitudes and those who feel attached to Scotland and think that peatlands are an important part of Scotland's identity and landscape tend to display higher WTP. These findings are important to provide a richer understanding of the determinants of preferences for environmental goods. Our results also open up new insights to the discipline in relation to the spatial heterogeneity of preferences: we have shown that people do not only relate with the space around them by focusing on the distance to the improvement site, as most frequently postulated in valuation studies. The idea that place can be understood as a space with emotional and cultural meanings also plays a critical role in shaping preferences. All these are critical elements to better inform policy-makers in the design of more socially acceptable and effective environmental policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Michela Faccioli & Mikołaj Czajkowski & Klaus Glenk & Julia Martin-Ortega, 2018. "Environmental attitudes and place identity as simultaneous determinants of preferences for environmental goods," Working Papers 2018-08, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
  • Handle: RePEc:war:wpaper:2018-08
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    File URL: https://www.wne.uw.edu.pl/index.php/download_file/4129/
    File Function: First version, 2018
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Cited by:

    1. Boyce, Christopher & Czajkowski, Mikołaj & Hanley, Nick, 2019. "Personality and economic choices," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 82-100.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    environmental valuation; discrete choice experiment; environmental attitudes; place identity; hybrid choice models; peatlands; Scotland;

    JEL classification:

    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General

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