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Total Economic Values of Increasing Gray Whale Populations: Results from a Contingent Valuation Survey of Visitors and Households

Abstract

The consistency of an individual's willingness to pay (WTP) responses for increases in the quantity of an environmental public good (whale populations) is tested along three lines. First, we test whether WTP for 50% and 100% increases in whale populations are statistically different from zero. Second, we ask whether the incremental WTP from a 50% increase to a 100% increase is statistically significant. Finally, we test whether there is diminishing marginal valuation of the second 50% increment in gray whale populations. The paired t-tests on open-ended WTP responses supported all three sets of hypotheses. Both visitors and households provided WTP responses that were statistically different from zero and increased (but in a diminishing fashion) for the second increment in WTP. In this survey both visitors and households provided estimates of total economic value (including non-use or existence values) for large changes in wildlife/fishery resources that were consistent with consumer theory.Existence value, contingent valuation, gray whale, California, willingness to pay, Environmental Economics and Policy, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy,

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