Valuing Continuously Varying Visual Disamenities: Offshore Energy Production and Delaware Beach Visitation

Fooks, Jacob
Messer, Kent D.
Duke, Joshua M.
Johnson, Janet
Parsons, George
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Department of Applied Economics and Statistics, University of Delaware, Newark, DE.
This research proposes a new approach to measuring and estimating Willingness to Pay (WTP) for a variety of non-market amenities. The continuous variation of attributes present in many non-market goods is utilized to collect higher resolution information on consumers' choices concerning their use decisions than is available through standard dichotomous choice questions. It does this without directly asking research participants to form explicit valuations - an unfamiliar and cognitively challenging task for most consumers. This generates data that can be estimated with a duration, or survival model consistent with Random Utility Theory, from which an expression for WTP as a function of the continuous attribute can be recovered. We apply this approach to estimate Delaware beach visitors' visual disamenity from the presence of offshore energy generation installations.