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Can you be bothered? The role of participant motivation in the valuation of species conservation measures

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Group-based approaches to the elicitation of stated preferences are considered particularly suitable for valuing unfamiliar or complex environmental goods. While such exercises provide participants with detailed information and time to think and deliberate, they require a considerable degree of motivation from the respondents. Effects of motivation on willingness to pay (WTP) tend to be ignored within the valuation research community, although similar effects have been reported in psychological literature. In this study, a novel approach using video recordings and behaviour coding of participants in group-based Market Stall meetings was employed to measure motivation as well as its impact on WTP and the theoretical and convergent validity of stated WTP. Indicators of motivation correlated significantly with both WTP statements and their validity, with more motivated individuals stating higher and more valid bids. These findings suggest that the recognition of motivation is an important novel element of research into stated preferences, particularly with respect to usefulness and quality of WTP measures.
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Keywords: Market Stall; butterflies; conservation; motivation; stated preference techniques; validity; willingness to pay

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Economics, UFZ - Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig, Germany 2: Socio-Economic Research Group, Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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