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**Revealed-preference methods**

Outline Hedonic pricing method Travel cost method Davao study

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Readings Lesser et al., pp , Choe, Whittington, Lauria

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**Hedonic pricing method**

Measures how the characteristics of a marketed asset, including environmental attributes, affect its price Typically applied to housing: “hedonic property method” Earliest application: Ridker (1967) Has also been applied to agricultural land Can also be applied to wages: “hedonic wage method” Job selection might reflect regional amenities or occupational health risks

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**Common observations Houses near airports tend to sell for lower prices**

So do houses downwind from oil refineries and slaughterhouses Houses with panoramic views tend to sell for higher prices Hence, although there are no markets for noise, smell, or view, such environmental characteristics can affect house prices

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**Hedonic property method: basic idea**

Housing is made up of several characteristics, including environmental quality, that determine its value The price of a house is the sum of the products of the implicit prices of those characteristics times the amounts of the characteristics in the house Statistical methods can be used to decompose house price into these implicit prices, as long as the characteristics vary within the sample of houses

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**Revealed preference method**

Synonym: “indirect” method Analyze “behavioral trail” left by individuals’ actual decisions, not what individuals say they would do (“stated preferences”) under hypothetical conditions Implications: cannot use revealed preference methods to value new goods, or changes outside range of current conditions

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Surrogate markets Housing market is not really a market for houses, but rather a surrogate market for the characteristics of houses Similarly, demand for parks is not really demand for parks per se, but rather demand for different environmental services provided by parks (travel cost method)

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**Types of values that hedonic property method can estimate**

Use values Among non-use values, perhaps option values, but not others (e.g., existence)

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Typical applications Ambient environmental quality: air, water, noise, odor pollution Proximity to noxious sites: dumps, incinerators, airports Natural hazards: floods, earthquakes, landslides, radon Proximity to desirable amenities: beaches, parks, vistas, cultural sites

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**Hedonic price function**

Relationship between price and attributes: PH = 0 + 1A1 + 2A2 + PH = price of house A1 = airport noise A2 = size of house = error term 0, 1, 2 = coefficients Econometric methods (multivariate regression) can be used to estimate the coefficients

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**For the linear function**

PH = 0 + 1A1 + 2A2 + , the implicit price for amenity A1 is just the coefficient 1: PH/A1 = 1

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**Example: Housing and air pollution in U.S.**

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**Travel cost method: basic idea**

The “price” of using a recreation site is not only the entry fee, but also the monetary and time costs of traveling to it

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**Travel cost method: basic idea**

The “price” of using a recreation site is not only the entry fee, but also the monetary and time costs of traveling to it Visitors who live at different distances from the site thus face different implicit prices

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**Travel cost method: basic idea**

The “price” of using a recreation site is not only the entry fee, but also the monetary and time costs of traveling to it Visitors who live at different distances from the site thus face different implicit prices We can estimate a demand curve for the site by relating the number of visits to the total travel cost

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**Entry fee vs. Implicit price**

Parks often have no entry fee, or fee hasn’t varied over time or across users Cannot estimate a demand curve if there’s no price variation Analyze demand as a function of implicit price: total cost of visiting park, not just entry fee

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History of TCM One of oldest and most frequently used valuation methods Concept is due to Harold Hotelling, in response to request from National Park Service in the late 1940s Operationalized by Marion Clawson in the 1950s Refined by Jack Knetsch in the 1960s

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**Recreational applications**

National parks and other protected areas Sporting sites (hunting, fishing) Archaeological sites Cultural sites (museums)

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**Other applications Collection of fuelwood Collection of water**

In principle, can be applied to any good whose consumption involves travel-related costs

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Related terminology Revealed preference method: TCM is a prime example of this category of valuation methods, which infer WTP or WTA from observed (not hypothetical) behavior

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Related terminology Revealed preference method: TCM is a prime example of this category of valuation methods, which infer WTP or WTA from observed (not hypothetical) behavior Surrogate market method: demand for transportation services is surrogate for demand for environmental amenities at destination

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**Types of travel cost models**

Zonal: average data on visitors; a given site Individual: data on individual visitors; a given site Multi-site (ditto): data on individual visitors; a set of sites Hedonic: average or individual data on visitors; characteristics of a given site

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**Features that are common across TCM models**

Typically implemented using cross-sectional data Econometric-based Two-stage procedure to obtain estimates of consumer surplus

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**Davao study: individual TCM**

Asked each household (i) annual number of visits it made to Times Beach before and after health advisory (Vi0, Vi*)

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**Calculated prices of visits to Times Beach (pi) and substitute sites (sij) as sum of:**

Roundtrip travel costs E.g., bus fare Costs of roundtrip travel time Assumed cost per hour equaled half of hourly wage rate There’s no entry fee If there were, it should be included, too

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Pooled data across households and estimated demand functions (“trip generating functions”) that relate annual number of visits to pi, sij, household income (yi), and other socioeconomic characteristics (hi): Vi0 = b00 + b10pi + b20sij + b30yi + b40hi + i Vi* = b0* + b1*pi + b2*sij + b3*yi + b4*hi + i What do we expect the signs of the coefficients to be?

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**For each household, calculated difference in consumer surplus between the two demand functions**

This can be interpreted as the household’s WTP for restoring Times Beach Do we interpret it as compensating variation, equivalent variation, or something else?

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**Calculating consumer surplus**

For each household, plug in actual values for sij, yi, and hi and rewrite demand functions as Vi = ci + b1pi where ci = b0 + b2sij + b3yi + b4hi

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**Calculating consumer surplus**

For each household, plug in actual values for sij, yi, and hi and rewrite demand functions as Vi = ci + b1pi where ci = b0 + b2sij + b3yi + b4hi Solve for pi: pi = –ci/b1 – Vi/b1 Can interpret intercept, –ci/b1 , as choke price: price that causes number of visits to drop to zero: Vi = 0

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**Calculating consumer surplus**

For each household, plug in actual values for sij, yi, and hi and rewrite demand functions as Vi = ci + b1pi where ci = b0 + b2sij + b3yi + b4hi Solve for pi: pi = –ci/b1 – Vi/b1 Can interpret intercept, –ci/b1 , as choke price: price that causes number of visits to drop to zero: Vi = 0 Calculate consumer surplus by applying the formula, MCS = ½(–ci/b1 – pi)Vi

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WTP: TCM vs. CVM TCM: pesos/month

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**WTP: TCM vs. CVM TCM: 36 pesos/month**

CVM (Scenario 1, mean for households that used beach before advisory): 37 pesos/month

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**WTP: TCM vs. CVM TCM: 36 pesos/month**

CVM (Scenario 1, mean for households that used beach before advisory): 37 pesos/month Looks good, but: CVM yields WTP for well-defined reference utility level ; TCM yields Marshallian WTP CVM measures use and non-use values; TCM measures only use values CVM measures WTP for cleaning up river and sea; TCM measures WTP just for Times Beach

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Time costs Time has an opportunity cost (OC), both while traveling and while on site Time-related costs are often the largest portion of total travel costs

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**OC of time and the wage rate**

Does OC of time equal the pre-tax wage rate?

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**OC of time and the wage rate**

Does OC of time equal the pre-tax wage rate? No: taxes drive a wedge between OC of time and gross compensation How about post-tax wage?

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**OC of time and the wage rate**

Does OC of time equal the pre-tax wage rate? No: taxes drive a wedge between OC of time and gross compensation How about post-tax wage? Overstates OC of time if work involves nonpecuniary costs (stress) Is time fungible between work and travel?

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**OC of time and the wage rate**

Does OC of time equal the pre-tax wage rate? No: taxes drive a wedge between OC of time and gross compensation How about post-tax wage? Overstates OC of time if work involves nonpecuniary costs (stress) Is time fungible between work and travel? Can work while traveling (laptops), or might not be able to work if not traveling (institutional constraints)

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**OC of time and the wage rate**

Does OC of time equal the pre-tax wage rate? No: taxes drive a wedge between OC of time and gross compensation How about post-tax wage? Overstates OC of time if work involves nonpecuniary costs (stress) Is time fungible between work and travel? Can work while traveling (laptops), or might not be able to work if not traveling (institutional constraints) People might enjoy travel itself Usual assumption: OC of time equals 25-50% of pre-tax wage

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