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Abstract

Data from a choice experiment on the community’s preferences for water quality improvements in streams was used to assess the effect of using a fixed status quo versus people’s perceived status quo on willingness to pay values. More than 50% of respondents perceived the quality of water in streams to be different to the status quo in the initial experimental design. Study results have shown that respondents who opted for their own perceived status quo alternative had stronger preferences and higher willing to pay for water quality improvements than their counterparts.

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