Public Support for Land Preferences: Measuring Relative Preferences in Delaware

Duke, Joshua M.
Ilvento, Thomas W.
Hyde, Rhonda A.
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Department of Food and Resource Economics
Public preferences for nonmarket services of preserved land in Delaware are measured using two survey techniques. The results of a conjoint experiment, using a sample of 199 Delawareans, suggest that the environmental and agricultural attributes of preserved land are most important to the residents. The conjoint results also suggest that these services are of substantial value to Delawareans; at the margin, at least, agricultural and environmental preserved land provide net benefits to the public. The analytic hierarchy process is used to assess separate survey results from 129 Delawareans. The results provide specific weights on the relative importance of attributes and qualities of preserved land, which in large part replicate and reinforce the results of the conjoint experiment. Overall, Delawareans seem to be most concerned with keeping farming as a way of life, having access to locally grown agricultural commodities, protecting water quality, and preserving rural character.
Purchase of development rights , Purchase of agricultural conservation easements , Nonmarket values , Analytic hierarchy process , Conjoint analysis