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Citation Information

Type Working Paper
Title Willingness to Pay for Different Degrees of Abundance of Elephants
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2003
URL http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=
This paper presents an application of the contingent valuation method (CVM) to determine
how the willingness to pay (WTP) for conservation of Asian elephants varies with
hypothetical variations in their population. Results from a CVM survey of a sample of urban
residents in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka are used for this purpose. We find, consistent
with the basic principles of consumer demand theory, the marginal change in the
respondents’ WTP amounts is positive but appears to diminish in parallel to the increases in
the current wild elephant population (CWEP). In contrast to theoretical expectations,
however, we find that the WTP for preserving this species increases at an increasing rate in
relation to decreases in the CWEP. This is probably because respondents perceive that
extinction becomes more imminent as the abundance of the elephant is reduced and therefore
it becomes more urgent to act. However, this adds a new complication to the interpretation of
the WTP findings.

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