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Respondent uncertainty in contingent valuation: the case of whale conservation in Newfoundland and Labrador

Lyssenko, Nikita and Martinez-Espineira, Roberto (2009): Respondent uncertainty in contingent valuation: the case of whale conservation in Newfoundland and Labrador.

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Abstract

In this paper we investigate the issue of respondent uncertainty in contingent valuation studies while estimating the willingness to pay for a whale conservation program o¤ the coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador. We use data from a phone survey administered to a sample (N=614) of adult Canadians, proposing a policy consisting of subsidizing and enforcing the use of acoustic devices that would reduce the likelihood that whales become entangled in �shing nets. A follow-up question asked respondents how certain they were about their answer to the main dichotomous-choice question, which allows us to investigate how the treatment of uncertainty a¤ects value measures. A mean willingness to pay of about $81/year per respondent is estimated when accounting for the degree of certainty with which respondents expressed their willingness to pay. We also analyze payment vehicle e¤ects using a split-sample approach whereby some respondents were asked a dichotomous-choice question about a tax contribution while others were asked about a voluntary donation instead.

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