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Open AccessArticle

Heterogeneous Preferences for Public Goods Provided by Agriculture in a Region of Intensive Agricultural Production: The Case of the Marchfeld

1
Institute of Agricultural and Forestry Economics, Department of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, A-1180 Vienna, Austria
2
Department of Applied Economics III (Econometrics Statistics), University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), E-48015 Bilbao, Spain
3
Faculty of Geosciences and Environment, University of Lausanne, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 2061; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10062061
Received: 11 May 2018 / Revised: 8 June 2018 / Accepted: 14 June 2018 / Published: 17 June 2018
The aim of this paper is to elicit the marginal willingness to pay (MWTP) for the improved provision of public goods (PGs) by agriculture in a region of intensive agricultural production, embodying many of the environmental problems related to agriculture within and outside the European Union (EU). Our analysis was based on a participatory approach, combining the involvement of local stakeholders and a discrete choice experiment (DCE) in the Marchfeld region in Austria. We estimated a random parameters logit model (RPL), including interactions with socio-demographic factors, to disentangle preference heterogeneity and find a positive MWTP of the local population for all three PGs analyzed: (i) groundwater quality; (ii) landscape quality; and (iii) soil functionality in connection with climate stability. Furthermore, MWTP varies considerably with respect to age, farmers/non-farmers and locals/incomers. Further research could combine the results of this demand-side valuation with those of a supply-side valuation, where the opportunity costs of different management options for farmers are estimated. Based on such a cost–benefit analysis and further participation of local stakeholders, new governance mechanisms for the smart and sustainable provision of PGs by agriculture could be developed for the Marchfeld region and for comparable European regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: discrete choice experiment; random parameters logit model; preference heterogeneity; willingness to pay; public goods; agriculture discrete choice experiment; random parameters logit model; preference heterogeneity; willingness to pay; public goods; agriculture
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Niedermayr, A.; Schaller, L.; Mariel, P.; Kieninger, P.; Kantelhardt, J. Heterogeneous Preferences for Public Goods Provided by Agriculture in a Region of Intensive Agricultural Production: The Case of the Marchfeld. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2061.

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