, Volume 27, Issue 3-4, pp 215-229

Using Stated-Preference Questions to Investigate Variations in Willingness to Pay for Preserving Marble Monuments: Classic Heterogeneity, Random Parameters, and Mixture Models

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Abstract

This paper investigates heterogeneity in the preferences/WTP (willingness to pay) to preserve marble monuments in Washington, D.C. This is done in the context of three different discrete-choice random-utility models. The main focus is to estimate a mixture model of choices over preservation programs. This model captures the best features of random-parameters models and models that assume preference parameters are deterministic functions of observable characteristics of the individual. The mixture model, and it alone, predicts that increased preservation is a bad for a significant proportion of young, non-Caucasians. That some proportion of the population might consider preservation a bad is a contingency that should be planned for in efforts to value cultural resources. Data and computer code are available athttp://www.colorado.edu/economics/morey/dataset.html.