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Abstract

This study used the contingent valuation method to shed light on public preferences on the multifunctional roles of the U.S. agriculture and to present a holistic estimate of the economic value of the nonmarket goods and services of the U.S. agriculture. Fishbein’s model of reasoned behavior and mediation hypothesis were combined to model the relationship between WTP (behavioral intentions) and sets of explanatory variables including attitudes, perceived attributes (about family farms, farmland preservation programs, government involvement in agricultural markets, and ecological state of our world), and socio-demographic profiles. The estimated mean WTP was $515 per taxpayer annually. Aggregating individual WTPs across the U.S. taxpayers above 20 years old produces $105 billion, representing a crude estimate of the economic value that the U.S. consumers place on the multifunctional roles of the U.S. agriculture.

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