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Abstract

The spatial distribution of agro-environmental policy benefits has important implications for the efficient allocation of management effort. The practical convenience of relying on sample mean values of individual benefits for aggregation can come at the cost of biased aggregate estimates. The main objective of this paper is to test spatial hypotheses regarding respondents’ local water quality and quantity, and their willingness-to-pay for improvements in water quality attributes. This paper combines choice experiment and spatially related water quality data via a Geographical Information System (GIS) to develop a method that evaluates the influence of respondents’ local water quality on willingness-to-pay for river and stream conservation programs in Canterbury, New Zealand. Results show that those respondents who live in the vicinity of low quality waterway are willing to pay more for improvements relative to those who live near to high quality waterways.

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