Valuing a Multistate River: The Case of the River Murray

19 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2011

See all articles by Darla Hatton MacDonald

Darla Hatton MacDonald

Government of the Commonwealth of Australia - Land and Water

Mark Morrison

Charles Sturt University

John M. Rose

The University of Sydney

Kevin J. Boyle

University of Maine

Date Written: July 2011

Abstract

The River Murray and the Coorong in Australia have been in a state of decline. With the prospect of extended droughts and shifts in inflows due to climate change, difficult choices loom. The options include halting the decline, triage of some assets along the River or staying with the declining river system. To support decisionā€making, a survey was designed to elicit willingness to pay for improvements in environmental quality. Over 3000 Australians responded to this survey. The study focuses on key River Murray environmental quality indicators: the frequency of bird breeding along the River Murray, increasing native fish populations in the River Murray, increasing the area of healthy vegetation along the River Murray, and restoring water bird habitat in the Coorong. State/Territory models were jointly estimated using a panel multinomial logit errorā€components model. Willingness to pay estimates for improvements in environmental quality were calculated for the River Murray and the Coorong. Respondents were found to be willing to pay most for the Coorong and to improve waterbird breeding frequency. Respondents from the Australian Capital Territory were found to have significantly higher willingness to pay whereas those in Victoria had a significantly lower willingness to pay than respondents in other states.

Keywords: choice experiment, Coorong, error components, River Murray, wetlands, willingness to pay

Suggested Citation

Hatton Macdonald, Darla and Morrison, Mark and Rose, John M. and Boyle, Kevin J., Valuing a Multistate River: The Case of the River Murray (July 2011). Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Vol. 55, Issue 3, pp. 374-392, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1878961 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8489.2011.00551.x

Darla Hatton Macdonald (Contact Author)

Government of the Commonwealth of Australia - Land and Water ( email )

GPO Box 1700
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601
Australia

Mark Morrison

Charles Sturt University ( email )

Panorama Avenue
Room: C2
Bathurst NSW 2795
Australia
(02) 6338 4253 (Phone)
(02) 6338 4769 (Fax)

John M. Rose

The University of Sydney ( email )

University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

Kevin J. Boyle

University of Maine ( email )

Orono, ME 04469-5774
United States

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