Using Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Accept to Value Farmland Preservation under Ambiguous Property Rights and Preference Uncertainty

Yicong Luo, Brent M. Swallow and Wiktor L. Adamowicz


We use a paired-sample binary choice experiment to estimate willingness to pay (WTP) and willingness to accept (WTA) values when land is converted from agriculture to developed uses in Alberta, Canada. Validated principles for stated preference are followed in scenario design, elicitation format, experimental design, and ancillary questions. Preference uncertainty is addressed through alternative calibration of uncertain responses. Reliability and incentive compatibility measures indicate that respondents found both WTP and WTA scenarios to be plausible and incentive compatible. WTA-WTP value gaps are smaller than most previous studies, with consequentiality increasing WTA, WTP, and the gap between WTA and WTP.


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