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Title: Public willingness to pay for local and global environmental benefits using choice modelling
Author: Drake, Benjamin
ISNI:       0000 0004 0132 8489
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2011
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Many environmental benefits exhibit non-excludability and non-rivalry characteristics akin to public goods. This makes it unlikely that such environmental benefits will attract a price in the marketplace. Policymakers therefore find difficulties in determining a correct economic valuation for environmental benefits exhibiting public good characteristics, leading to potentially severe consequences for aligning policy for the provision of environmental benefits with public preferences for service delivery. This research used a choice modelling approach to estimate public preferences for delivery of local and global environmental benefits; reductions in the flood risk to the British city of York (implemented by filling in drainage ditches in peat moorland further up the catchment), and a reduction in CO2 emissions (implemented by planting poplar trees for biomass either locally in the study area or elsewhere in the UK). The choice experiment presented respondents with options providing different levels of these environmental benefits with a tax as the payment vehicle. Analysis of choice experiment data revealed one latent class (LC) segment holding a significant preference for achieving a high level of CO2 reduction through national, as opposed to local tree planting, potentially indicating the existence of 'not in my backyard' (NIMBY) behaviour. Analysing the choice experiment data using the random parameter logit (RPL) model revealed mean annual public willingness to pay (WTP) estimates of £0.48-£9.55, £0.75-£14.91 and £30.93-£51.54 for levels of CO2 reduction through local and national tree planting, and flood risk reduction to York respectively. This research also quantifies the biophysical capacity to deliver levels of CO2 reduction in the choice experiment, using a combined literature review of biomass combustion characteristics and geographical information system (GIS) modelling. This indicates that national poplar tree planting can contribute towards year 2020 renewable electricity targets without greatly compromising on domestic agricultural production.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available