Contingent values as implicit contracts: estimating minimum legal willingness to pay for conservation of large carnivores in Sweden
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Mean willingness-to-pay (WTP) based on multiple bounded, discrete choice responses from contingent valuation surveys are normally obtained using some kind of parametric estimator. This paper instead exploits the possibility to interpret the response to the discrete-choice question as an implicit contract between the researcher and the respondent, resulting in a minimum legal WTP (MLW) estimator. Never previously used in valuation literature, it is used in this paper to estimate the WTP for the preservation of large carnivores in Sweden, based on a large scale, national survey. Results show that MLW estimates only were 12–19% of the comparable parametric estimates. In keeping with other results in contingent valuation literature, we find that the MLW estimates are positively related to the educational level, income and the fraction of urban population, while negatively related to age. Among the advantages of the MLW estimator is its transparency as well as the fact that it rests on a contractual notion of WTP.
KeywordsContingent valuation Willingness-to-pay Minimum legal WTP Discrete choice Carnivores
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