A conjoint analysis of consumer preferences for wetlands mitigation in Georgia
Phillips, Willard S.
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Wetlands provide important economic benefits to man. These include the provision of habitat for economically important species, recharging of ground water aquifers, provision of amenities for outdoor recreation, and the protection of coastal areas from storm surges. Since the time of European settlement however, the quantity of wetlands in the continental United States has been declining due to the conduct of economic activities in wetlands, as well as the expansion of built development. Although several pieces of legislation have been enacted to minimize wetlands loss, coastal Georgia continues to experience such losses. This research seeks to assess consumer’s willingness to pay (WTP) for a mitigation policy for the preservation of Georgia’s wetlands. By applying a conjoint analysis method, a one time WTP was estimated at $77.29 per Georgia household. Subsequent analysis yielded a benefit cost ratio of 7.41, suggesting that wetlands mitigation is economically feasible in Georgia.