Do causes of environmental problems affect Hicksian equivalent surplus? Evidence from the field

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Abstract

Measuring preferences via stated methods remains the only technique to obtain the total economic value of a non-marketed good or service. This study examines if alternative causes of an environmental problem affect individual statements of compensation demanded. Making use of a unique sample drawn from the Netherlands, we find that Hicksian equivalent surplus (ES) is not significantly affected by causes of environmental harm. While our finding that agents only care about outcomes, rather than causes, is consonant with standard applications of utility theory, it is at odds with some recent experimental findings measuring the effects of cause on Hicksian compensating surplus (CS). © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Bulte, E. H., Gerking, S., List, J. A., & de Zeeuw, A. (2004). Do causes of environmental problems affect Hicksian equivalent surplus? Evidence from the field. Economics Letters, 85(2), 157–162. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.econlet.2004.02.019

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