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Moral Foundations and Willingness to Pay for Non-Wood Forest Products: A Study in Three European Countries

Viola Di Cori (), Cristiano Franceschinis (), Nicolas Robert (), Davide Matteo Pettenella () and Mara Thiene ()
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Viola Di Cori: European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Via E. Fermi 2749, 21027 Ispra, Italy
Cristiano Franceschinis: Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry Department, University of Padova, Viale dell’Università, 35020 Legnaro, Italy
Nicolas Robert: European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Via E. Fermi 2749, 21027 Ispra, Italy
Davide Matteo Pettenella: Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry Department, University of Padova, Viale dell’Università, 35020 Legnaro, Italy
Mara Thiene: Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry Department, University of Padova, Viale dell’Università, 35020 Legnaro, Italy

Sustainability, 2021, vol. 13, issue 23, 1-16

Abstract: Non-Wood Forest Products (NWFPs) provide social and cultural services related to e.g., the tradition and social role of collecting berries, mushrooms and herbs. These services can be ranked among intangible outputs as a part of the recreational function of forests. However, their social value is only partially captured in non-forest activities. We used a Choice Experiment to explore individuals’ preferences towards NWFPs and associated services in Italy, Sweden, and Czechia. We estimated the individual marginal willingness to pay for the supply and maintenance of NWFPs. In addition, we analysed the determinants of people’s choices using the framework of the Moral Foundations Theory (MFT). The results show that people collect NWFPs mostly for self-consumption and recreation, rather than for livelihood or to sell them on the market. Despite this, they are willing to pay for sustainable forest management practices that favour NWFPs supply, as well as for forest conservation. Additionally, Care and Fairness traits in the MFT determine people’s willingness to pay for NWFPs. The results from this study highlight the value of the social component of non-wood forests products and the expenses related to picking. This is a first step towards a value chain analysis of the NWFPs.

Keywords: non-wood forest products; choice experiment; moral foundations; ecosystem services (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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