Geographical scoping and willingness-to-pay for nature protection

W. J.Wouter Botzen*, Pieter J.H. van Beukering

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This study offers a Choice Experiment (CE) analysis of geographical scope effects. About 500 stated preference surveys were conducted to estimate willingness-to-pay (WTP) for nature protection in the Netherlands and the Caribbean Netherlands which became part of the Netherlands’ constitution just before the survey, providing a unique policy setting. Two version of the CE were implemented with a narrow or a broader geographical scope. Estimation of error correction mixed logit models resulted in the following main insights. First, the hypothesis of scope invariance is rejected since expanding the geographical scope influenced WTP values for nature protection. As an illustration, policies of preventing a degradation of nature have an average WTP of about €20 in the experiment with the smaller geographical scope, while this WTP is not significantly different from zero in the experiment with the more extensive scope. Second, evidence of scope sensitivity of WTP to the levels of nature protection is mixed, and depends on the geographical scope of the CE. We find a sizable WTP for protection of nature in Caribbean Netherlands among citizens of the mainland of the Netherlands, which supports the observed sizable funding of the Dutch government for nature management in the Caribbean Netherlands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-58
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Integrative Environmental Sciences
Issue number1
Early online date1 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Choice experiment
  • environmental valuation
  • error correction mixed logit model
  • scoping
  • willingness-to-pay


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