Public Budget Choices and Private Willingness to Pay
22 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2010
Efficient allocation of public funds depends upon good information about citizens' values. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how citizens' values can be obtained by eliciting marginal willingness to tradeoff (MWTTO) ratios for public spending categories and linking these ratios to individual, private willingness to pay. The link enables estimation of the willingness to pay for an expansion to any of the budget categories based on the elicited willingness to pay and the marginal willingness to tradeoff ratios. Tradeoff ratios and willingness to pay are estimated for public budget categories in Kentucky based on a representative sample surveyed by mail and the web in 2007. Estimates show that individuals are willing to pay the most for an expansion to educational services, followed by health care.
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