Environmental Economics

An Experiment in Determining Willingness to Pay for National Water Quality Improvements

The purpose of this research is to develop a methodology for using direct interview survey techniques to estimate national benefits from freshwater water quality improvements. In particular, this study has developed a method for estimating the intrinsic benefits of water quality, a class of benefits which include option, existence, and bequest benefits among others. The method also measures consumer recreational benefits, but does not estimate industrial, commercial or drinking water benefits.
The report is divided into the following chapters:

    1. The Willingness to Pay Method, Consumer Surplus and Water Quality Benefits
    2. The Macro Approach to Willingness to Pay Studies
    3. Research Procedures
    4. Control for Biases
    5. Experimental Benefits Estimates: Overall, Use and Intrinsic
    6. Conclusion and Recommendations
These are followed by the following appendices:
    I. RFF Research Instrument
    II. The Water Quality Ladder by William J. Vaughan
    III. Derivation of Public Goods Expenditures
    IV. Preceeding Questionnaire on Environmental and Energy Issues
    V. Sampling Plan for the RFF Survey
    VI. Cases Eliminated from Analysis
    VII. Construction of ENVINDEX
    VIII. A New Constructive Test for Heteroskedasticity by Richard T. Carson and William J. Vaughan
Please note that the downloadable files below do not include any of the pages beyond page 15 of Appendix IV. This portion of the report can be ordered in hard copy form, however.