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Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 71, Issue 2, pp 357–379 | Cite as

Economic Valuation of the Threat Posed by the Establishment of the Asian Tiger Mosquito in Australia

  • Paul Mwebaze
  • Jeff Bennett
  • Nigel W. Beebe
  • Gregor J. Devine
  • Paul De Barro
Article
  • 348 Downloads

Abstract

Invasive species policy could be better informed if we understood how much people value reductions in the risks posed by these organisms. This study investigates the public’s willingness to pay (WTP) for additional measures to reduce the risk of invasion of the Australian mainland by the Asian tiger mosquito (ATM). The study contributes to the literature by applying a stated preference method to estimate the public’s WTP to reduce the risk of an ATM invasion, expressed as a change in probability. It is the first ex ante invasive species analysis to test over two discrete invasion reduction probabilities based on management effort. Further, to overcome the challenges in valuing changes in probabilities, the study presented respondents with a well-defined discrete difference in the final probability, with one scenario reducing risk from 50 to 25% and the other from 50 to 5%. We find a significant difference in the mean WTP values between these two scenarios (A$67 vs. A$90). The overall conclusion is that estimated benefits of reducing the probability of an ATM incursion outweigh the costs.

Keywords

Invasive species Asian tiger mosquito Willingness to pay Contingent valuation 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was funded by the CSIRO Health & Biosecurity Business Unit. We thank the Aedes albopictus Technical Advisory Group (R. Russell, P. Whelan, S. Ritchie, G. Devine, A. van den Hurk, J. Walker) and the managers of the Cairns-based vector control team (J.Davis, O. Muzari) for providing valuable comments on the research proposal and survey instruments used in this study. Mike Muller and Martin Shivas (Brisbane City Council) provided technical information regarding mosquito control in Brisbane, and Swapan Paul (Sydney Olympic Park Authority) provided technical advice concerning mosquito control in Sydney. We thank Hazel Parry for helping with GIS data generation and map preparation.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Mwebaze
    • 1
  • Jeff Bennett
    • 2
  • Nigel W. Beebe
    • 1
    • 3
  • Gregor J. Devine
    • 4
  • Paul De Barro
    • 1
  1. 1.The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)BrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Crawford School of Public PolicyThe Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia
  3. 3.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  4. 4.QIMR Berghofer Medical Research InstituteHerstonAustralia

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