Incorporating environmental attitudes in discrete choice models: An exploration of the utility of the awareness of consequences scale

  • Hoyos D
  • Mariel P
  • Hess S
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Environmental economists are increasingly interested in better understanding how people cognitively organise their beliefs and attitudes towards environmental change in order to identify key motives and barriers that stimulate or prevent action. In this paper, we explore the utility of a commonly used psychometric scale, the awareness of consequences (AC) scale, in order to better understand stated choices. The main contribution of the paper is that it provides a novel approach to incorporate attitudinal information into discrete choice models for environmental valuation: firstly, environmental attitudes are incorporated using a reinterpretation of the classical AC scale recently proposed by Ryan and Spash (2012); and, secondly, attitudinal data is incorporated as latent variables under a hybrid choice modelling framework. This novel approach is applied to data from a survey conducted in the Basque Country (Spain) in 2008 aimed at valuing land-use policies in a Natura 2000 Network site. The results are relevant to policy-making because choice models that are able to accommodate underlying environmental attitudes may help in designing more effective environmental policies.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Choice modelling
  • Discrete choice
  • Hybrid latent class (HLCM) model
  • Latent attitudes
  • Natura 2000
  • Valuation

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