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    Public distrust and valuation biases: Identification and calibration with contingent valuation studies of two air quality improvement programs in China2020

    HE J., HUANG D., WANG H.Journaux et Revues (scientifiques)

    consentement à payer, coûts / mesures de réduction, évaluation contingente, incertitudes / biais, pollution

    China Economic Review
    Volume 61, June 2020, 101424

    • Surveys are conducted to estimate WTP for better air quality in Guiyang and Xingtai

    • A joint selection model identifies two channels through which public trust affects WTP

    • In Xingtai, distrust leads to a higher probability to protest and a WTP underestimated by 16%

    • In Guiyang, distrust results in a lower WTP directly via the determination function, by 26%.

    Economic valuation can be biased by public distrust in local institutions when those institutions are involved in the valuation scenario design, which is often the case for contingent valuation (CV) studies. To better identify and to calibrate the potential biases, we conduct two CV surveys on people's willingness to pay (WTP) for the implementation of new air quality improvement programs at the municipality level in China. A joint selection modeling strategy is developed and employed to identify the potential biases in WTP estimations caused by people's ex-ante distrust in local institutions. The results show the various channels through which the distrust in local institutions affects people's WTP between two cities. For one city, the distrust in local institutions significantly increases the probability of one protesting the new program, which results in an underestimation of WTP by 16%. For the other city, the distrust in local institutions leads to a lower estimation of WTP by 26%, mostly via the determination function.

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