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J Environ Manage. 2013 Sep 30;127:308-16. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2013.05.043. Epub 2013 Jun 24.

Using choice experiments to understand household tradeoffs regarding pineapple production and environmental management in Costa Rica.

Author information

  • 1Department of Community Sustainability, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1222, USA. rbr@msu.edu

Abstract

Choices among environmental management alternatives involve tradeoffs where, for example, the benefits of environmental protection may be offset by economic costs or welfare losses to individual agents. Understanding individual or household-level preferences regarding these tradeoffs is not always straightforward, and it often requires an analysis of choices under alternative scenarios. A household survey was used to gather data for a choice experiment, where respondents were asked to choose among pairs of alternative management scenarios about pineapple production in Costa Rica. The experimental design consisted of six attributes that varied on between two and five attribute levels, and the experiment and accompanying survey were administered orally in Spanish. The results show that respondents are willing to make tradeoffs with respect to the management attributes in order to see an overall improvement in environmental quality. Respondents were willing to accept a moderate level of pesticide application, presumably in exchange for paying a lower cost or seeing a gain in another area, such as monitoring or soil conservation. Buffer zones were significant only in the case of large farms. The results have implications for policy decisions that aim to reflect public attitudes, particularly the aspects of pineapple production that matter most to people living near pineapple plantations. The study also highlights the effectiveness of the choice experiment approach in examining household preferences about environmental management in a rural development context.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS:

Choice experiments; Costa Rica; Environmental management; Pineapple production; Tradeoffs

PMID:
23807434
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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