Comparing economic and psychology approaches to understanding community acceptance of recycled wastewater: a case study in Perth, Western Australia

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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    Abstract

    Within the recycled wastewater policy literature researchers have tended to guide policy makers with measures of acceptance and attitudes towards the policy of interest, an approach that stems from the psychology discipline. However, new water schemes may impose considerable costs on the community, while other schemes have attributes that consumers may find undesirable. A notable gap in the existing literature is whether attitudes are still important predictors of water scheme acceptability when the price to the consumer and opportunity cost of implementing alternative schemes is explicitly stated when eliciting intentions to accept. By combining elements of both the psychology approach and economic approach to eliciting policy acceptance it may be possible to arrive at a more comprehensive understanding of preferences for environmental goods, and from this improved understanding develop more effective public policy. In this study a holistic approach is used in both the survey design and analysis method to determine the acceptability of a recycled wastewater scheme in Perth, Western Australia. First, the psychology component of the survey was designed using information from the recycled wastewater acceptance literature as well as advice from experts in recycled wastewater policy. The behavioural intention measures used to determine acceptability of the GR scheme were an intention to vote for the recycled wastewater scheme, and an intention to drink water from the recycled wastewater scheme. Second, the economic component of the survey utilised a multiple bound, dichotomous choice contingent valuation exercise to elicit welfare values from the respondents. Third, observed individual characteristics pertaining to the respondent’s level of knowledge, experience with recycled wastewater schemes, perception of specific risks of the recycled wastewater scheme, and socio-demographic characteristics were collected.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2011

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