Valuing Grassland Restoration: Proximity to Substitutes and Trade-offs among Conservation Attributes

Sahan T. M. Dissanayake and Amy W. Ando


We demonstrate how choice experiment survey methods can be used to guide ecosystem restoration efforts. We use a choice experiment survey to estimate willingness to pay (WTP) for different attributes of restored grassland ecosystems. We find that the presence of nearby grasslands increases a respondent’s WTP and that species richness, population density, and the presence of endangered species are all significant factors that contribute to the respondent’s WTP. This implies that all these conservation success measures should be taken into account in planning and in research. To our knowledge this is the first study to calculate the WTP for grasslands. (JEL Q51, Q57)