Testing convergent validity in choice experiments: application to public recreation in Spanish Stone pine and Cork oak forests

Junio 2015
Instituto de Políticas y Bienes Públicos (IPP) CSIC, Working Paper 2015-04

Jose L. Oviedo, Alejandro Caparrós, Itziar Ruiz-Gauna & Pablo Campos

We perform two convergent validity tests in a choice experiment applied to public recreation in Stone pine and Cork oak forests in Spain. We compare choice and ranking recoded as a choice in an experiment with three alternatives plus status quo. Our results show convergent validity for both structural models and willingness to pay estimates. The same experiment includes two payment-vehicles, an entrance-fee to access the forest and an increase in trip-expenditures due to an increase in gas prices, simultaneously in the choice sets. We obtain significant differences in willingness to pay values, which are 2.6-2.7 times higher when using the latter. Our empirical results present compensating variations and the (simulated) exchange value that the forest owner would obtain if a payment system for accessing these forests were established. The latter values fall below the former ones.