The worth of wildlife: A meta-analysis of global non-market values of threatened species

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    Abstract

    Clustered robust meta-regression analysis is applied to 109 willingness to pay (WTP) estimates for threatened species from 47 stated-preference studies in 19 countries. Our study updates previous meta-analyses on the topic and tests the effect of important variables not previously considered—species' threat status, use of coloured photographs of species in a survey, and a country's development status, on WTP. We also compared model results obtained from weighting observations by the inverse standard error of WTP and inverse sample size values. Inverse-standard error-weighted model results were more aligned with published research and economic theory and had a better fit than inverse-sample size-weighted model results. Average total present value of WTP was $414/household,1 but variation in reported values was large owing to the survey context. WTP was significantly higher for charismatic and threatened species. Using coloured photographs, or a country's development status did not significantly affect WTP. Average absolute within-sample and out-of-sample transfer errors were estimated to be 17% and 48%, respectively. One-fourth out-of-sample transfers had an error of 10% or less. We discuss limitations and issues in current literature and propose recommendations that will allow future studies to be used in meta-analyses and benefit transfer.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number106374
    JournalEcological Economics
    Volume164
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019

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    meta-analysis
    willingness to pay
    photograph
    economic theory
    wildlife
    Meta-analysis
    Wildlife
    Nonmarket values
    Willingness-to-pay
    regression analysis

    Cite this

    @article{8625669791b44d5ba2b7f705dcc2a04a,
    title = "The worth of wildlife: A meta-analysis of global non-market values of threatened species",
    abstract = "Clustered robust meta-regression analysis is applied to 109 willingness to pay (WTP) estimates for threatened species from 47 stated-preference studies in 19 countries. Our study updates previous meta-analyses on the topic and tests the effect of important variables not previously considered—species' threat status, use of coloured photographs of species in a survey, and a country's development status, on WTP. We also compared model results obtained from weighting observations by the inverse standard error of WTP and inverse sample size values. Inverse-standard error-weighted model results were more aligned with published research and economic theory and had a better fit than inverse-sample size-weighted model results. Average total present value of WTP was $414/household,1 but variation in reported values was large owing to the survey context. WTP was significantly higher for charismatic and threatened species. Using coloured photographs, or a country's development status did not significantly affect WTP. Average absolute within-sample and out-of-sample transfer errors were estimated to be 17{\%} and 48{\%}, respectively. One-fourth out-of-sample transfers had an error of 10{\%} or less. We discuss limitations and issues in current literature and propose recommendations that will allow future studies to be used in meta-analyses and benefit transfer.",
    keywords = "Choice experiment, Contingent valuation, Endangered species, Species' charisma, Species' endangerment level",
    author = "Vandana Subroy and Asha Gunawardena and Maksym Polyakov and Ram Pandit and Pannell, {David J.}",
    year = "2019",
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    doi = "10.1016/j.ecolecon.2019.106374",
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