Consumer versus citizen preferences in contingent valuation: evidence on the role of question framing

Rather than individual consumer preferences, responses to referendum-style contingent valuation surveys on environmental goods may express citizen assessments that take into account benefits to others. We reconsider the consumer versus citizen hypothesis with a focus on the role of framing information. Survey data on conservation areas in Ilomantsi, Finland, are used. Different versions of the valuation question were used to encourage the respondents to take the consumer or the citizen role. The citizen version expectedly resulted in substantially fewer zero-WTP responses and protests and higher mean and median WTP, suggesting that the framing information has a major effect on the preferences expressed. The findings support the idea of multiple preferences. For a more confident interpretation of contingent valuation responses, future studies should recognise their intended use in survey design and gain information about respondents’ motives to determine the presence and type of altruistic motives.

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Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Volume 49, Issue 4
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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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