We carried out online choice experiments (CE) to investigate what value Japanese individuals assign to rare versus familiar species in forest ecosystem, and to determine how preference heterogeneity arises. CE attributes comprised a forestry charge as the price attribute and rare versus familiar species of animals or plants as the good to be valued. Species numbers in a 5 km-mesh forest area were evaluated without the use of species names to focus purely on responses to numerical changes. Positional effects were also tested to validate results regarding alternatives and attributes other than the price attribute. A random parameter logit model was adopted to capture preferences for species diversity. After confirming that no positional effects existed, we found that (1) rare animals were valued more highly than rare plants, (2) familiar plants were assigned a positive value, but familiar animals were not assigned significant value at the mean parameter estimate, and (3) preference heterogeneities existed for all species. The sources of preference heterogeneity were analyzed with a latent class model having principal components of environmental attitudes. The influence of such attitudes was shown to be significant and suggested that attention should be paid to belief systems rather than solely demographics.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Economics and Econometrics
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law