Early Exposure to Nature and Willingness to Pay for It: The Value of Tallgrass Prairie Grassland Restoration

Liqing Li and Amy W. Ando


Widespread global grassland destruction motivates restoration efforts. However, little research on public preferences exists to inform restoration decisions, and reduced exposure to nature such as grasslands could diminish public willingness to pay (WTP) for it. We conducted a choice experiment to estimate preferences over tallgrass prairie grassland restorations and quantify how those preferences are correlated with childhood experiences. We find that WTP for grassland restoration can be large, especially with recreational opportunities. Further, people who participated in outdoor activities or grew up near grasslands during their childhood place a higher value on grassland restoration than people who did not.

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