[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Landscapes generate a wide range of valuable ecosystem services, yet land-use decisions often ignore the value of these services. Using the example of the United Kingdom, we show the significance of land-use change not only for agricultural production but also for emissions and sequestration of greenhouse gases, open-access recreational visits, urban green space, and wild-species diversity. We use spatially explicit models in conjunction with valuation methods to estimate comparable economic values for these services, taking account of climate change impacts. We show that, although decisions that focus solely on agriculture reduce overall ecosystem service values, highly significant value increases can be obtained from targeted planning by incorporating all potential services and their values and that this approach also conserves wild-species diversity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present an experiment designed to investigate the presence and nature of ordering effects within repeat-response stated preference (SP) studies. Our experiment takes the form of a large sample, full-factorial, discrete choice SP exercise investigating preferences for tap water quality improvements. Our study simultaneously investigates a variety of different forms of position-dependent and precedent-dependent ordering effect in preferences for attributes and options and in response randomness. We also examine whether advanced disclosure of the choice tasks impacts on the probability of exhibiting ordering effects of those different types. We analyze our data both non-parametrically and parametrically and find robust evidence for ordering effects. We also find that the patterns of order effect in respondents' preferences are significantly changed but not eradicated by the advanced disclosure of choice tasks a finding that offers insights into the choice behaviors underpinning order effects.
Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 01/2012; 63:73-91. · 2.17 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Arguably the greatest challenge to contemporary research is to capture the inter-relatedness and complexity of the real world environment within models so at to better inform decision makers of the accurate and complete consequences of differing options. The paper presents an integrated model of the consequence of climate change upon land use and the secondary and subsequent effects arising subsequently. The model predicts the shift in land use which climate change is likely to induce and the impacts upon farm gross margins arising from this. However, both the direct driver of climate change and the induced shift in land use patterns will cause secondary effects upon the water environment for which agriculture is the major source of diffuse pollution. We model the consequent impact of changes in such pollution upon water ecology showing that these will be spatially specific and significant. These impacts are likely to cause further knock-on effects upon the recreational benefits of water environments and these are assessed using a spatially explicit revealed preference database. Taken together this analysis permits a holistic examination of a much wider range of effects and net value consequences arising from climate change impacts upon land use.
Working Paper - Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment 01/2012;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper investigates whether responses to choice experiments (CEs) are subject to ordering anomalies. While previous research has focussed on the possibility that such anomalies relate to position in the sequence of choice tasks, our research reveals that the particular order of tasks matters. Using a novel experimental design that allows us to test our hypotheses using simple nonparametric statistics, we observe ordering anomalies in CE data similar to those recorded in the dichotomous choice contingent valuation literature. Those ordering effects operate in both price and commodity dimensions and are observed to compound over a series of choice tasks. Our findings cast serious doubt on the current practice of asking each respondent to undertake several choice tasks in a CE while treating each response as an independent observation on that individual's preferences.
Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 01/2010; 59(3):271-285. · 2.17 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The literature contains evidence from some studies of asymmetric patterns of choice cycles in the direction consistent with
regret theory, and evidence from other studies of asymmetries in the opposite direction. This article reports an experiment
showing that both patterns occur within the same sample of respondents operating in the same experimental environment. We
discuss the implications for modelling behaviour in such environments.
Theory and Decision 01/2010; 68(1):233-242. · 0.48 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The contingent valuation method for estimating willingness to pay for public goods typically adopts a single referendum question format, which is relatively statistically inefficient. As an alternative, Cooper, Hanemann, and Signorello (2002) propose the one-and-one-half bound (OOHB) format, allowing researchers to question respondents about both a lower and higher limit on project costs, thereby securing substantial gains in statistical efficiency. Using an experimental design, we find that responses to OOHB valuation questions fail crucial tests of procedural invariance. We test various competing models of observed response patterns including strategic misrepresentation of standard preferences and nonstandard models of preference formation. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Review of Economics and Statistics 11/2009; 91(4):806-820. · 2.66 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the majority of choice experiments (CEs) the attributes of non-market goods are conveyed to respondents as a table of numeric and/or categorical data. Recent research suggests that respondents may have difficulties evaluating data in this format. In the context of a CE eliciting preferences for changes in coastal land use, this study uses a split-sample experiment to compare standard presentations with virtual reality (VR) visualisations conveying objectively identical information. We find that compared to the standard presentation, preferences elicited in VR treatments are less variable and exhibit a significant reduction in asymmetry between willingness to pay (WTP) for gains and willingness to accept (WTA) for corresponding losses. We conjecture that the greater ‘evaluability’ of the VR presentation reduces respondent judgement error and moderates reliance on the loss-aversion heuristic.
Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. 01/2009;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper investigates whether responses to choice experiments (CEs) are subject to sequencing anomalies. While previous research has focussed on the possibility that such anomalies relate to position in the sequence of choice tasks, our research reveals that the particular sequence of tasks matters. Using a novel experimental design that allows us to test our hypotheses using robust nonparametric statistics, we observe sequencing anomalies in CE data similar to those recorded in the dichotomous choice contingent valuation literature. Those sequencing effects operate in both price and commodity dimensions and are observed to compound over a series of choice tasks. Our findings cast serious doubt on the current practice of asking each respondent to undertake several choice tasks in a CE whilst treating each response as an independent observation on that individual’s preferences.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We develop a two-stage, multinomial logit model of UK land use to investigate the impact of policy changes upon agriculture. The model utilises a large panel database covering the entirety of England and Wales for 14 years between 1969 and 2004 integrated with the economic and physical environment determinants of all major agricultural land use types. Our model performs well in out-ofsample prediction of current land use and we use it to assess a proposed implementation of the Water Framework Directive via a tax on fertilizer. Results indicate that such policy change would generate substantial switching from arable to grassland systems, reducing significantly the amount of nitrate leaching into UK water-bodies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper reports two experiments which examine the use of ranking methods to elicit ‘certainty equivalent’ values. It investigates
whether such methods are able to eliminate the disparities between choice and value which constitute the ‘preference reversal
phenomenon’ and which thereby pose serious problems for both theory and policy application. The results show that ranking
methods are vulnerable to distorting effects of their own, but that when such effects are controlled for, the preference reversal
phenomenon, previously so strong and striking, is very considerably attenuated.
Journal of Risk and Uncertainty 02/2007; 34(1):49-66. · 1.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using a two-stage hedonic pricing methodology we estimate a system of structural demand equations for different sources of transport-related noise. In the first stage, we identify market segments using model-based clustering techniques and estimate separate hedonic price functions (HPFs) for each segment. In so doing, we show how a semiparametric spatial smoothing estimator outperforms other standard specifications of the HPF. In the second stage, we control for non-linearity of the budget constraint and identify demand relationships using techniques that account for problems of endogeneity and censoring of the dependent variable. Our estimated demand functions provide welfare estimates for peace and quiet that we believe to be the first derived from property market data in a theoretically consistent manner. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007
Environmental and Resource Economics 02/2007; 37(1):211-232. · 1.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Contingent valuation (CV) surveys frequently employ elicitation procedures that return interval-censored data on respondents’ willingness to pay (WTP). Almost without exception, CV practitioners have applied Turnbull’s self-consistent algorithm to such data in order to obtain nonparametric maximum likelihood (NPML) estimates of the WTP distribution. This paper documents two failings of Turnbull’s algorithm; (1) that it may not converge to NPML estimates and (2) that it may be very slow to converge. With regards to (1) we propose starting and stopping criteria for the algorithm that guarantee convergence to the NPML estimates. With regards to (2) we present a variety of alternative estimators and demonstrate, through Monte Carlo simulations, their performance advantages over Turnbull’s algorithm. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007
Environmental and Resource Economics 01/2007; 37(4):777-795. · 1.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We review the literature regarding the aggregation of benefit value estimates for non-market goods. Two case studies are presented through which we develop an approach to aggregation which applies the spatial analytic capabilities of a geographical information system to combine geo-referenced physical, census and survey data to estimate a spatially sensitive valuation function. These case studies show that the common reliance upon political rather than economic jurisdictions and the use of sample mean values within the aggregation process are liable to lead to significant errors in resultant values. We also highlight the fact that for resources with use values then we should expect overall values to reduce with increasing distance from such sites, but that changes in the choice of welfare measure will determine whether such ‘distance decay’ is to be expected within values stated by those who are presently non-users. The paper concludes by providing recommendations for future improvements to the methodology.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The contingent valuation method for estimating willingness to pay for public goods typically adopts a single referendum question format which is statistically inefficient. As an alternative, Cooper, Hanemann and Signorello (2002) propose the Ã‚Â‘'one-and-one-half boundÃ‚Â’' (OOHB) format allowing researchers to question respondents about both a lower and higher limit upon project costs, thereby securing substantial statistical efficiency gains. These bounds are presented prior to the elicitation of responses thereby avoiding the negative 'Ã‚Â‘surpriseÃ‚Â’' induced by an unanticipated second question. However, this approach conflicts with the Gibbard-Satterthwaite result that only a single referendum format question is incentive compatible. The OOHB method may therefore be liable to strategic behaviour or reliance upon the anchoring heuristic observed in other repeated response elicitation formats. In a first formal test of the method we show that it fails crucial tests of procedural invariance and induces strategic behaviour amongst responses.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper shows that preferences elicited via a ranking procedure differ systematically from those generated by pairwise choices, even though nothing in formal decision theory entails any such differences. The data strongly suggest that one of the best-known violations of expected utility theory may largely be an artefact of the pairwise choice procedure. However, expected utility theory is not rehabilitated by ranking: other substantial violations persist. Our findings raise serious doubts about the generality of conclusions drawn from laboratory and field studies that are based primarily on discrete choice. Acknowledgements: The earlier part of this research was undertaken as part of the U.K. Economic and Social Research Council's Programme for Environmental Decision Making, Award M535255117, and the later part under the ESRC's Social Contexts and Responses to Risk network, Award L326 25 3054. We are grateful to Viola Kimmel and Shepley Orr for assistance with the conduct of the experiments.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) represents a fundamental change in the management of water in Europe with a requirement that member states ensure 'good ecological status' for all water bodies by 2015. Agriculture is expected to bear a major share of WFD implementation costs as it is compelled to reduce the emission of diffuse water pollutants. The research outlined here comprises interdisciplinary modelling of agricultural land use, hydrology and consequent water quality effects to consider both agricultural costs and the non-market recreational use (and potentially non-use) values that implementation of the Directive may generate. A theme throughout the research is the spatial distribution of the costs and benefits of WFD implementation, which is addressed through the use of GIS techniques in the modelling of agricultural land use, the integration of land use and hydrological models, and the estimation, aggregation and transfer of the economic value of the benefits. Copyright 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Journal of Agricultural Economics 01/2006; 57(2):221-237. · 1.50 Impact Factor