Preferences for site and environmental functions when selecting forthcoming national parks

A political decision to establish the first ever national parks in Denmark allowed us to examine if people hold preferences regarding which site to be designated as national park, separate from the preferences for its environmental functions. To this end, we designed a choice experiment representing the national park alternatives by the possible site and the possible improvements in environmental functions. Results revealed that respondents have strong preferences for the establishment of a national park per se. Furthermore, there are significant differences in taste parameters for the different sites, which cannot be explained by respondents' valuing the different functions differently across sites. Instead we explain the results with differences in regional and cultural preferences. We also performed a balanced split-sample test of anchoring effects and found clear evidence of this. We included a zero-bidder screening question prior to the choice set part of the survey instrument to improve WTP estimation. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.