A test for the presence of a purely altruistic motive in non-market valuation

Suh, Jungho and Harrison, Steve (2005) A test for the presence of a purely altruistic motive in non-market valuation. Discussion Paper No. 338, School of Economics, The University of Queensland.

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Author Suh, Jungho
Harrison, Steve
Title A test for the presence of a purely altruistic motive in non-market valuation
School, Department or Centre School of Economics
Institution The University of Queensland
Open Access Status Other
Report Number Discussion Paper No. 338
Publication date 2005-05-01
Start page 1
End page 25
Total pages 25
Language eng
Subject 340401 Economic Models and Forecasting
1401 Economic Theory
Abstract/Summary An important assumption underlying non-market valuation is that it is not the environment but the human preferences that is valued. A decades-old question keeps arising: Can individual consumer behavior be influenced by altruistic citizen preferences? The environmental economics literature discerns six conceptual forms of altruism. They are genuine altruism, pure altruism, paternalistic altruism, impure altruism, individualistic altruism and intrinsic altruism. Despite a rich collection of stated preference experiments with respect to altruistic responses, little attention has been paid to pure altruism in empirical terms. This paper tests for the presence of pure altruism, i.e. whether an individual derives utility from other people's utility in the context of non-market valuation. To this end, this paper investigates the attitudes of hikers and skiers towards the hypothetical removal of the Muju ski resort from the Mt Togyu National Park in South Korea (hereafter Korea). Data were collected from samples of hikers and skiers who visited the national park. Each respondent was given a copy of choice modelling questionnaire, in which it was assumed that skiers from the southern region would have to travel for a longer time. Therefore, respondents were forced to consider trade-offs between the recovery of the lost environmental assets in the Muju ski resort area, skiers' additional travel time and willingness-to-pay amounts for the hypothetical environmental improvement. The estimates of the implicit value for the attribute 'skiers' additional travel time' were used to determine whether hikers were motivated by pure altruism in their valuation, given that the time cost was only incurred by people who were willing to travel to new ski fields' additional travel time or did not care about the removal of the ski resort.
Keyword Citizen role
Consumer preference
Point estimate of willingness-to-pay

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Created: Wed, 19 Oct 2005, 10:00:00 EST