Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 52, Issue 4, pp 531–548 | Cite as

Protesting and Justifying: A Latent Class Model for Contingent Valuation with Attitudinal Data

  • Maria A. Cunha-e-SáEmail author
  • Lívia Madureira
  • Luis C. Nunes
  • Vladimir Otrachshenko


This article develops a latent class model for estimating willingness-to-pay (WTP) for public goods using simultaneously contingent valuation (CV) and attitudinal data to identify individuals with similar characteristics, such as WTP and protest attitudes. We find evidence that the answer to the CV question influences the responses to the attitudinal questions. In our case, this influence reflects rational behavior (budget constraint issues) and justification biases related to protest reasons, such as lack of trust in institutions or fairness issues with respect to the distribution of the burden of preservation. The results from our empirical application confirm the importance of accounting for those biases.


Contingent valuation Attitudinal data Latent class model Protest responses Justification bias 

JEL Classification

C35 C85 Q51 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Au D, Crossley TF, Schellhorn M (2005) The effect of health changes and long-term health on the work activity of older Canadians. Health Econ 10: 999–1018CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bateman I, Carson R, Day B, Hanemann M, Hanley N, Hett T, Jones-Lee M, Loomes G, Mourato S, Ozdemiroglu E, Pearce D, Sugden R, Swanson J (2002) Economic valuation with stated-preference techniques.. Edward Elgar, CheltenhamGoogle Scholar
  3. Ben-Akiva M, Walker J, Bernardino A, Gopinath D, Morikawa T, Polydoropoulou A (2002) Integration of choice and latent variable models. In: Mahmassani H (eds) In perpetual motion: travel behaviour research opportunities and application challenges. Elsevier Science, Amsterdam, 431–470Google Scholar
  4. Bestard A, Riera Font A, Hicks R (2010) Combining discrete and continuous representations of preference heterogeneity: a latent-class approach. Environ Resour Econ 47(4): 477–493CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bollen KA (1989) Structural equations with latent variables. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  6. Bonnichsen O, Ladenburg J (2009) Using an ex-ante entreatry to reduce protest zero bias in stated preference surveys: a health economic case. J Choice Model 2(2): 83–98Google Scholar
  7. Bound J (1991) Self-reported versus objective measures of health in retirement models. J Hum Resour 26: 106–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bonnichsen O, Ladenburg J (2010) Reducing status-quo bias in choice experiments: an application to a protest reduction entreatry. FOI working paper, no. 7, Institute of Food and Resource Economics, LIFE, University of CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
  9. Breffle W, Morey E, Thacher J (2011) A joint latent class model: combining likert-scale preference statements with choice data to harvest preference heterogeneity. Environ Resour Econ 50: 83–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brouwer R, Martin-Ortega J (forthcoming) Modeling self-censoring of polluter pays protest votes in stated preference research to support resource damage estimations in environmental liability. Resour Energy EconGoogle Scholar
  11. Calia P, Strazzera E (2001) A sample selection model for protest votes in contingent valuation studies. Statistica 61(3): 473–485Google Scholar
  12. Cameron A, Trivedi P (2005) Microeconometrics: methods and applications. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge and New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Carson R, Groves T (2007) Incentive and informational properties of preference questions. Environ Resour Econ 31: 181–210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Carson R, Mitchell R, Hanemann M, Kopp R, Presser S, Ruud P (2003) Contingent valuation and lost passive use: damages from the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Environ Resour Econ 25: 257–286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dempster AP, Laird NM, Rubin DB (1977) Maximum likelihood from incomplete data via the EM algorithm. J R Stat Soc Ser B 39: 1–38Google Scholar
  16. Dziegielewska D, Mendelsohn R (2007) Does “No” means “No”? A protest methodology. Environ Resour Econ 38: 71–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gradstein M (2008) Institutional traps and economic growth. Int Econ Rev 49: 1043–1066CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Haab T, McConnell K (2002) Valuing environmental and natural resources. Edward Elgar, UKGoogle Scholar
  19. Herriges J, Kling C, Liu C-C-C, Tobias J (2010) What are the consequences of consequentiality?. J Environ Econ Manage 59(1): 67–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jakobsson K, Dragun A (2001) The worth of a possum: valuing species with the contingent valuation method. Environ Resour Econ 19: 211–227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Jorgensen B, Syme G, Bishop B (1999) Nancarrow B protest responses in contingent valuation. Environ Resour Econ 14(1): 131–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jorgensen B, Syme G (2000) Protest responses and willingness to pay: attitude toward paying for storm water pollution abatement. Ecol Econ 33(2): 251–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kaufmann D, Kraay A, Mastruzzi M (2005) Governance matters IV: governance responses to the attitudinal questions for 1996–2004. mimeo, World Bank, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  24. Lo Y, Mendell NR, Rubin DB (2001) Testing the number of components in a normal mixture. Biometrika 88: 767–778CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Martin-López B, Montes C, Benayas J (2007) Influence of user characteristics on valuation of ecosystem services in Donana natural protected Area (south-west Spain). Environ Conserv 34(3): 215–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. McLachlan GJ, Peel D (2000) Finite mixture models. Wiley, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Meyerhoff J, Liebe U (2006) Protest responses in contingent valuation: explaining their motivation. Ecol Econ 57: 583–594CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Meyerhoff J, Bartczak A, Liebe U (2009) Identifying various types of protesters in contingent valuation using latent class analysis. Working paper on Management in Environmental Planning 27/200Google Scholar
  29. Meyerhoff J, Liebe U (2008) Do protest responses to a contingent valuation question and a choice experiment differ?. Environ Resour Econ 39: 433–446CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Meyerhoff J, Liebe U (2009) Status-quo effects in choice experiments: empirical evidence on attitudes and choice task complexity?. Land Econ 85(3): 515–528Google Scholar
  31. Meyerhoff J, Liebe U (2010) Determinants of protest responses in environmental valuation: a meta-study. Ecol Econ 70: 366–374CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mitchell RC, Carson RT (1989) Using surveys to value public goods: the contingent valuation method. Resources for the Future, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  33. Morey E, Thacher J, Breffle W (2006) Using angler characteristics and attitudinal data to identify environmental preference classes: a latent-class model. Environ Resour Econ 34: 91–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Morey E, Thiene M, De Salvo M, Signorello G (2008) Using attitudinal data to identify latent classes that vary in their preference for landscape preservation. Ecol Econ 68: 536–546CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Morkbak MR, Olsen S, Meyerhoff J (2010) A meta-study investigating the sources of protest behavior in stated preference surveys. Paper presented at the 4th World Congress of Environmental and Resource Economists, Montreal, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  36. Polydoropoulou A, Gopinath D, Ben-Akiva M (1997) Willingness to pay for advanced traveler information system. Transp Res Record 1588: 44–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Morrison M, Blamey R, Bennett J (2000) Minimizing payment vehicle bias in contingent valuation studies. Environ Resour Econ 16: 407–422CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Provencher B, Baerenklau K, Bishop R (2002) A finite mixture logit model of recreational angling with serially correlated random utility. Am J Agric Econ 844: 1066–1075CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Scarpa R, Thiene M (2005) Destination choice models for rock climbing in the north-east alpes: a latent class approach based on a intensity of participation. Land Econ 81(3): 426–444Google Scholar
  40. Scarpa R, Beharry-Borg N (2010) Valuing quality changes in Caribbean coastal waters for heterogeneous beach visitors. Ecol Econ 69: 1124–1139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Scarpa R, Gilbride TJ, Campbell D, Hensher DA (2009) Modelling attribute non-attendance in choice experiments for rural landscape valuation. Eur Rev Agric Econ 36(2): 151–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Soderqvist T (1998) Why give up money for the Baltic Sea?. Environ Resour Econ 12: 249–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Strazzera E, Genius M, Scarpa R, Hutchinson G (2003) The effect of protest votes on the estimates of WTP for use values of recreational sites. Environ Resour Econ 25: 461–476CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Walker J, Li J (2007) Latent lifestyle preferences and household location decisions. J Geograph Syst 9(1): 77–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Whitehead J, Groothuis P, Blomquist G (1993) Testing for non-response and sample selection bias in contingent valuation. Econ Lett 41: 215–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria A. Cunha-e-Sá
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lívia Madureira
    • 2
  • Luis C. Nunes
    • 1
  • Vladimir Otrachshenko
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculdade de EconomiaUniversidade Nova de LisboaLisboaPortugal
  2. 2.Departamento de EconomiaUniversidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto DouroVila RealPortugal

Personalised recommendations