Estimating Society's Willingness to Pay to Maintain Viable Rural Communities

26 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2004

See all articles by Jeff Bennett

Jeff Bennett

Crawford School of Public Policy

Martin van Bueren

Centre for International Economics, Canberra

Stuart M. Whitten

Independent

Abstract

Declining populations in rural and regional areas have become a high political priority in Australia. Calls for measures to support rural communities have been prompted by substantial population declines in some country areas. In Europe and the USA, similar political pressures to halt population losses in rural and regional areas are also apparent; often as a component of the multifunctionality of agriculture. The question addressed in the present paper is whether or not the Australian tax-paying public would be willing to pay to avoid losses of people from rural and regional areas that may result from environmental protection measures. As an integral component of two recent non-market, environmental valuation exercises using Choice Modelling, the value of the benefits associated with the maintenance of rural populations has been estimated. The results demonstrate that a positive existence value is held primarily by urban dwellers for rural population levels.

Suggested Citation

Bennett, Jeff W and van Bueren, Martin and Whitten, Stuart M., Estimating Society's Willingness to Pay to Maintain Viable Rural Communities. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=595070

Jeff W Bennett (Contact Author)

Crawford School of Public Policy ( email )

ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
J.G. Crawford Building, #132, Lennox Crossing
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

Martin Van Bueren

Centre for International Economics, Canberra

GPO Box 2203
Canberra ACT, 2601
Australia

Stuart M. Whitten

Independent

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