Individualized Geocoding in Stated Preference Questionnaires: Implications for Survey Design and Welfare Estimation

Robert J. Johnston, Benedict M. Holland and Liuyang Yao


This paper evaluates the common practice of generic mapping in stated preference valuation, in which identical policy area maps are shown to all respondents. This is compared to a more information-intensive alternative in which individualized maps identify the location of each respondent’s home relative to policy effects. The evaluation is grounded in a theoretical model clarifying the impact of individualized spatial information on preferences for non-market outcomes. The model is illustrated using an application of choice experiments to riparian restoration in coastal Maine. Results characterize valuation contexts for which valid preference elicitation likely requires the provision of individualized spatial information. (JEL Q51, Q57)

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