Expert judgements and community values: preference heterogeneity for protecting river ecology in Western Australia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Western Australia's Swan River is a complex asset providing environmental, recreational and commercial benefits. Agencies responsible for its management rely extensively on advice from experts, whose preferences may or may not align with those of the community. Using a choice experiment, we compared public and expert preferences for managing the river's ecology and tested the application of budget-reallocation and personal-cost payment vehicles. The results indicate that the budget-reallocation method is a suitable payment vehicle for public and expert samples, although there are some differences to the more traditional personal-cost vehicles because of different trade-offs involved. Modelling revealed heterogeneity in preferences. Expert and public preferences were statistically different from one another at the mean, but a significant amount of heterogeneity existed in the populations sampled. The differences in preferences across both public and expert groups suggest that the measurement of public values for the environment is still an important part of the management process, even when experts are providing advice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-293
Number of pages28
JournalAustralian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics
Volume64
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020

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