Spatial Factors and Stated Preference Values for Public Goods: Considerations for Rural Land Use

Robert J. Johnston, Stephen K. Swallow and Dana Marie Bauer


This paper examines whether and how survey respondents react to spatial factors in stated preference surveys, and the ways in which preferences for spatial factors may influence welfare estimation. Alternative proposals to develop rural lands for residential purposes in southern New England were studied. Results illustrate that spatial attributes can influence estimated willingness to pay for development plans, even in cases where spatial attributes are only presented as cartographic details of maps used to clarify survey scenarios. Moreover, we find that subtle, and potentially unintended, spatial features presented in choice questions may influence marginal valuation of non-spatial attributes. (R52)

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