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Keywords:

  • Biodiversity;
  • Pesticides;
  • Benefits;
  • Survey design;
  • Choice modeling

Abstract

This study deals with the effects on biodiversity of pesticide-free buffer zones along field margins. Using choice modeling, the majority of respondents to a survey on pesticide use in the environment are willing to accept an increase in the price of bread if the survival of partridge chicks and the number of wild plants increase. The study identifies the need for further empirical work with respect to methodological validation, price estimation, and the use of survey results in policy analysis. In particular, the environmental effects of pesticide use are complex and, therefore, present difficult challenges when presenting information to lay people. Forty-one percent of respondents changed their responses regarding willingness to pay more for bread when references to pesticide use were introduced in the questionnaire. This indicates that scenarios depicting changes in pesticide use can be difficult to present to lay people in an economically rational and well-defined context. Thus, in the study of valuation related to changes in pesticide use, much attention should be devoted to the design and definition of the context. Furthermore, the effects of providing different background information, e.g., with or without the mention of pesticides, should be tested.