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The effect of social and personal norms on stated preferences for multiple soil functions: evidence from Australia and Italy

Cristiano Franceschinis, Ulf Liebe, Mara Thiene, Jürgen Meyerhoff, Damien Field and Alex McBratney

Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 2022, vol. 66, issue 2, 335-362

Abstract: Although soil degradation has become a global phenomenon that might severely threaten the provision of a large range of ecosystem services, not much is known about the economic value of soil functions such as carbon sequestration and rainfall water infiltration. Knowing these values would be an important input into the recently developed concept of Soil Security. This paper aimed at closing this gap for a broad set of soil functions valued at the regional level in the Veneto region in Italy and New South Wales in Australia. The study not only elicits non‐market values by a choice experiment but also investigates the impact of personal norm activation and social norms on stated preferences, by a hybrid choice model with multiple latent variables. As the survey was conducted in two countries, our study offers evidence of the external validity of both social norm effects and personal norm activation. The results reveal that respondents positively value the conservation of the soil functions and that both personal norm activation and social norm clearly affect stated preferences.

Date: 2022
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