Systematic Influences of Policy Implementation and Conservation Agents on Willingness to Pay for Land Preservation

Economists frequently assess willingness to pay (WTP) for land preservation outcomes independent of information regarding policy implementation. The public, however, may not only be concerned with the consequences of land management, but also may have systematic preferences for policy procedures applied to achieve management goals. This paper examines relationships between WTP for land preservation outcomes and attributes of the policy process, considering stated preferences for farm and forest preservation in two Northeastern states. The approach departs from traditional welfare assessments in that it does not constrain attributes of the policy process to be utility-neutral. Results indicate that utility is influenced by policy process attributes, even after controlling for the influence of land use outcomes often correlated with specific policy techniques. Results suggest that even comprehensive specification of land use outcomes by stated preference instruments may be insufficient to prevent systematic shifts in WTP related to unspecified, yet assumed, policy process attributes.

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Selected Paper 156028

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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