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Willingness to pay function for two fuel treatments to reduce wildfire acreage burned: A scope test and comparison of White and Hispanic households

John Loomis, Le Trong Hung and Armando González-Cabán

Forest Policy and Economics, 2009, vol. 11, issue 3, 155-160

Abstract: This research uses the Contingent Valuation Method to test whether willingness to pay increases for larger reductions in acres of forests burned by wildfires across the states of California, Florida and Montana. This is known as a test of scope, a measure of internal validity of the contingent valuation method (CVM). The scope test is conducted separately for White households and Hispanic households to determine if cultural differences influences whether the scope test is passed. The public program to reduce acres burned involved prescribed burning and a mechanical fuel reduction program. The results of CVM logit regressions show that the acreage reduction variable is statistically significant at the 1% level for the two proposed fuel reduction programs, and the two types of households. The positive sign of this variable means that the more acreage reduction proposed in the survey the more likely people would pay for the fuel reduction program. Because of the significance of the acreage reduction variable in the willingness to pay function, this function can be used to evaluate the incremental benefits of different forest fire management plans that reduce acres burned by wildfires. These benefits would be part of the justification for prescribed burning and mechanical fire fuel reduction programs to protect forests from wildfires.

Keywords: Contingent; Valuation; Method; Prescribed; burning; Mechanical; fuel; reduction; Scope; test; Willingness; to; pay (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:eee:forpol:v:11:y:2009:i:3:p:155-160