Cavalletti B., Corsi M., Lagomarsino E. (2019).

Principles and choices. Comparing the stated preferences of users for the management of four marine protected sites in Italy. AIQUAV 2019, 29.



Background: Stated preference methods have offered precious insights of the value attributed by users and non-users to all sorts of environmental goods that are not normally traded on competitive markets (Louviere et al. 2000). We know that environmental goods provide utility to consumers even though there is no market transaction to reveal the value of the good. That the value of the good can nonetheless be estimated and that it will reflect individual preferences regarding, more than the good in and of itself, a set of its key characteristics and their intensities. That preferences depend on individual characteristics of the consumer. These principles have been applied to elicit the value of many marine areas, either in general, (Rodrigues et al. 2016) or with respect to the management of specific sites (Xuan et al. 2017). What remains unexplored is the link between the quality of an environmental good/site, its segment of users and the total economic value of the good.

Goals: Our intent is to explore how the environmental quality of protected sites may contribute to shape specific market segments of users and, most importantly, to what degree the characteristics of such users affect use preferences for the site. More specifically, we expect very high environmental quality and strict conservation to attract users with different socio-economic characteristics and a different inclination towards environmental protection than sites were environmental conservation is less strict and the environmental good is more under the pressure of anthropization. We want to check if such differences are also reflected in the preferences of these different market segments with respect to management policies that affect the characteristics of the site and improve protection, at a price, while they may or may not provide for an increased gratification of user experience.