In this paper we develop a full-preference ranking Choice Experiment (CE) designed to investigate how respondents evaluate a set of proposed improvements towards sustainable river basin management, as per the prescriptions of the European Union-Water Framework Directive (2000). The CE is applied in the Asopos River Basin (ARB) in Greece. Our interest is to test whether residency in the river basin, or otherwise, affects the preferences of the relevant agents. We first estimate a rank-ordered logistic regression based on a full set of choices in order to calculate the willingness to pay (WTP) of respondents for each one of the three attributes considered in the CE (i.e., environmental conditions, impact on the local economy and changes in the potential uses of water). The model is initially estimated for the full sample and then re-estimated twice for two sub-samples: the first one only includes the residents of Athens and the second only includes the residents of Asopos. Afterwards, we examine the effect of various demographic and socio-economic factors (such as income, gender, age, employment and education) on the estimates of our model in order to reveal any differences among respondents with different characteristics, mainly focusing on whether they reside or have personal experience of the RB under valuation. Thus, our analysis simultaneously provides a robustness check on previous findings in the literature and additional information about how various demographic and socio-economic characteristics affect the evaluation of the selected attributes.
Keywords: Asopos River Basin; Choice experiment; Full-preference ranking; Water Framework Directive; Water quality and quantity; Willingness to pay (WTP).
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