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Dealing with preference uncertainty in contingent willingness to pay for a nature protection program: A new approach

  • Authors: Voltaire L.; Pirrone C.; Bailly D.
  • Publication year: 2013
  • Type: Articolo in rivista
  • Key words: Contingent valuation; Nature protection; Payment card; Preference uncertainty; Uncertainty calibration; Willingness to pay
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In this paper, we propose an alternative preference uncertainty measurement approach where respondents have the option to indicate their willingness to pay (WTP) for a nature protection program either as exact values or intervals from a payment card, depending on whether they are uncertain about their valuation. On the basis of their responses, we then estimate their degree of uncertainty. New within this study is that the respondent's degree of uncertainty is "revealed", while it is "stated" in those using existing measurement methods. Three statistical models are used to explore the sources of respondent uncertainty. We also present a simple way of calculating the uncertainty adjusted mean WTP, and compare this to the one obtained from an interval regression. Our findings in terms of determinants of preference uncertainty are broadly consistent with a priori expectations. In addition, the uncertainty adjusted mean WTP is quite similar to the one derived from an interval regression. We conclude that our method is promising in accounting for preference uncertainty in WTP answers at little cost to interviewees in terms of time and cognitive effort, on the one hand, and without researcher assumptions regarding the interpretation of degrees of uncertainty reported by respondents, on the other. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.