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A Stated Preference Study of the Chesapeake Bay and Watershed Lakes

Chris Moore (), Dennis Guignet, Kelly Maguire (), Chris Dockins () and Nathalie Simon

No 201506, NCEE Working Paper Series from National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Abstract: The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States and the third largest in the world. The surrounding Watershed encompasses 64,000 square miles, and is home to about 18 million people. There have been numerous studies measuring the value of different components of the Chesapeake Bay but no study or set of studies provides a comprehensive estimate of the values associated with the improvements likely to result from recently implemented pollution limits. To fill this gap we developed a stated preference (SP) survey that uses a discrete choice experiment response format to examine households’ willingness to pay (WTP) for water quality improvements in the Chesapeake Bay. During extensive focus group testing, care was taken to identify the environmental attributes that are most important to both users and non-users and to quantitatively describe these attributes using understandable and tangible metrics. The survey was mailed to a stratified random sample of households across 17 states in the eastern U.S. and the District of Columbia. This paper reports the results of the empirical analysis, including marginal WTP estimates for each environmental attribute and total WTP for the expected outcome of the pollution reduction program. A comparison of WTP across households suggests that a substantial portion of the benefits can be attributed to nonusers. Results also show that benefits from improving water quality in freshwater lakes in the Watershed are an important ancillary benefit likely to result from reducing pollution in the Bay.

Keywords: Chesapeake Bay; choice experiment; stated preference; TMDL; water quality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q51 Q53 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 61 pages
Date: 2015-11, Revised 2015-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dcm, nep-env and nep-mkt
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1)

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:nev:wpaper:wp201506

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