Stated Willingness to Pay for Tree Health Protection: Perceptions and Realities

  • Colin Price


This chapter examines problems of applying stated preference approaches to tree diseases. The approaches record respondents’ willingness to pay for a better environment, as they conceive it. The validity of these approaches has been challenged; known biases exist, have been addressed, but are still debated. Giving information to respondents, deemed essential for eliciting valid responses, could mislead respondents into valuing other-than-cultural services; unduly headlines particular problems; and makes samples atypical of wider populations. Responses may embody symbolic, apple-pie and citizen values, with “doing right” improperly attached to one particular option. Refusal to respond may be reduced by presenting information in a political context. The chapter concludes that valuations should focus on real outcomes of tree diseases judged by revealed, rather than stated, willingness to pay for actual environmental quality, rather than for abstract concepts.



The chapter has been extensively developed from a presentation made at the biennial conference of the Scandinavian Society of Forest Economics 2014 and published in Scandinavian Forest Economics (Price 2015). The author is grateful to the editor and members of the society for dispensation to make use of this material. He is also grateful to the two anonymous reviewers for suggestions on how to improve it.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Colin Price
    • 1
  1. 1.Colin Price Freelance Academic ServicesBangorUK

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