Ecological Economics

We compare two discrete choice experiments eliciting willingness-to-pay (WTP) for increased cold-water coral protection in Norway using valuation workshops and an internet panel survey with videos. The video presentation provides the same visual presentation of information about the good and valuation task as in the valuation workshop. In doing so, we are the first to compare these survey modes. The two survey modes perform equally well with respect to sampling, but the internet survey gives significantly lower WTP estimates. We identify a large number of status quo (SQ) choosers in the internet survey that partly explain this result. Furthermore, respondents who speed through the survey questionnaire, and believe the survey to be inconsequential are more likely to be SQ choosers. While an internet survey is a fast and cost-effective way of obtaining a representative population sample, the potential biases in the valuation of complex and unknown environmental goods outlined here should be carefully addressed in future internet panel surveys.

Reference:

Sandorf, E.D., Aanesen, M. & Navrud, S., 2016, Valuing unfamiliar and complex environmental goods: A comparison of valuation workshops and internet panel surveys with videos, Ecological Economics, 129, 50-61

Header-image source: Institute for Marine Research