Title: Expanding the Applicability of Non-Market Valuation: Examinations of Deliberative Valuation, Contingent Valuation, and Attribute-Based Pricing
Language: English
Authors: Witt, Brian 
Keywords: Deliberative Valuation; Contingent Valuation; Attribute-Based Pricing
Advisor: Getzner, Michael  
Issue Date: 2020
Number of Pages: 150
Qualification level: Doctoral
Many goods and services, particularly environmental goods and services, are not traded in markets or are traded in poorly-functioning markets; thus, they are often undersupplied relative to their demand. A number of non-market valuation methodologies have been developed to estimate realistic prices or values for these non-marketed or quasi-marketed goods and services. However, non-market valuation exercises are often expensive to conduct and necessitate a level of technical expertise that may limit their practical usability with regard to many goods and services, especially in lower- and middle-income countries. Reducing this cost and complexity could increase the potential applicability of valuation methodologies in previously-marginal contexts and increase the usefulness of these techniques to policymakers and researchers alike. Using three case studies, this dissertation aims to substantively contribute to the literature on non-market valuation by discussing and evaluating potential frameworks for improving the cost-effectiveness of these methodologies. After an introduction (Chapter One), each chapter of this dissertation examines a different non-market valuation technique: deliberative valuation (Chapter Two), contingent valuation (Chapter Three), and attribute-based pricing models (Chapter Four).Chapter Two addresses deliberative valuation within the context of participation in Payment for Ecosystem Service (PES) programs. When compared with other stated preference valuation methodologies, deliberative valuation gives participants more time and information, potentially resulting in more valid and reliable estimations, as well as higher participant confidence. It also has weaknesses, however, such as small sample sizes, lower participant diversity, and high costs. This chapter proposes a minimalist framework for deliberation that increases sample size and lowers cost per participant through short, structured deliberative sessions and the use of deliberative sub-groups. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the minimalist framework, a case study was conducted with 192 landholders in south-eastern Mexico, examining how participants’ perception of benefits derived from communal forest lands would impact their willingness to accept (WTA) comparatively lower payments to participate in a Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) program. The results suggest that a substantial number of landholders would accept a lower payment level to participate in a PES program over a degradative alternative, with an average of 45.5% of participants willing to accept a 45% reduction in payments to participate in the PES program and an aggregated median (implied) willingness to pay (WTP) of US$35.22 to preserve the perceived benefits being derived from the communal forests. The minimalist framework had an impact on willingness to participate in the PES program, with a 13.8% increase in the percentage of participants willing to participate in the PES program post-deliberation and an aggregated median (implied) willingness to pay for preserving forest land US$14.11 higher after deliberation. The impact on participant confidence was stronger, with a 31.2% increase in the percentage of participants expressing confidence in their choice after deliberations.Chapter Three evaluates multi-site contingent valuation studies through the lens of protected area entrance fee pricing. It can be challenging to set protected area entrance fees without information on how much visitors are willing to pay (WTP); this is problematic, as studies have shown that protected sites globally have typically set prices below what visitors would pay. It can be particularly difficult for agencies managing multiple sites to set fees at each protected area under their management appropriately without the expense, in time and money, of conducting visitor surveys at each site. This is especially problematic if, for reasons of efficiency or policy, management agencies use uniform or quasi-uniform pricing structures across sites. Multi-site contingent valuation surveys, using a sample of sites with distinctive profiles, offer a potentially more cost-effective option. In order to ascertain the potential for raising additional revenue through entrance fee increases, examine how willingness to pay estimates would vary across different protected areas, and evaluate the effectiveness of a quasi-uniformiipricing strategy, 877 visitors at five Mexican protected sites, Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, Cobá Archaeological Zone, Palenque National Park, Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, and Yum Balam Nature Reserve, were interviewed through double-bounded dichotomous choice contingent valuation surveys. The results suggest that visitors would be willing to pay higher entrance fees, with mean maximum willingness to pay estimates of 2.8–9.8 times current fees, ranging from US$15.70 to US$25.83. Visitor demand was found to be relatively inelastic, with aggregate fee increases of 26% estimated to result in a 5% decrease in visitation. These results suggest that there is room to raise revenues through moderate fee increases without an equivalent drop-off in visitation and that there is indeed the potential for a quasi-uniform entrance fee policy across the sites, with a standard fee level and supplementary fees at Calakmul and Palenque.Chapter Four examines attribute-based pricing models within the context of entrance fee pricing at safari tourism-oriented African protected areas. At national parks and game reserves in eastern and southern Africa where safari tourism opportunities ensure a steadily-growing stream of wealthy visitors, increased entrance fees may provide a possible solution for fiscal problems. However, limited data on visitor demand makes entrance fee pricing at many of these protected areas a matter of guesswork or emulation, potentially leading to considerable mispricing and lost revenue. While a stated preference non-market valuation methodology, such as contingent valuation, might be an effective means to estimate visitor willingness to pay (WTP), the costs and complexity of survey-based valuation methodologies are prohibitive for many governmental and parastatal site operators in lower- and middle-income countries, generating the need for a less expensive and technically-demanding option. This chapter examines an attribute-based approach, using site attributes to model a range of plausible prices for 21 protected areas in eastern and southern Africa. With wildlife viewing quality, perceived safety, site prominence, quality of accommodation, and ease of access as determinant attributes, the attribute-based pricing model suggests that the surveyed sites could raise entrance fees considerably, with mean potential increase of 240%-348% over current fees and mean modeled lower- and upper-bound entrance fees of US$56.24 and US$86.57, respectively, compared to a mean current fee of US$33.04. Botswanan, Namibian, and Zambian protected areas, with generally low fees and high scores in all attributes, are modeled to have the greatest room for increasing fees, while Kenyan protected areas, with generally only average attributes and relatively high current prices, are modeled to have the least potential for fee increases.
URI: https://doi.org/10.34726/hss.2020.83988
DOI: 10.34726/hss.2020.83988
Library ID: AC16046415
Organisation: E280 - Institut für Raumplanung 
Publication Type: Thesis
Appears in Collections:Hochschulschrift | Thesis

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