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When asked to put a value on unique and endangered species that live in US national parks, many people say they would be willing to pay to help conserve species. But it can be difficult to assess whether an individual's stated preferences match up with their actual preferences towards donating to preserving these species. The purpose of this study is to measure whether stated preferences about hypothetical giving match up with revealed preferences about actual giving for how much individuals are willing to pay to help conserve endangered species in Mammoth Cave National Park. To do this, we distributed a survey that asks people who live in Kentucky and surrounding states and have visited the park a variety of questions. Respondents were randomly assigned 2 out of 5 different species that live in the park. The species include invertebrates and mammals with different conservation statuses. The individuals were then asked, based on a randomly assigned dollar value between $5 and $40, whether they would make a hypothetical donation to conservation efforts for these species. The survey also included a variety of demographic questions, in addition to questions about past visits to the park. At the end of the survey, the individual had a chance to receive an extra $5 on top of their participation payment or donate that $5 to the National Parks Conservation Association.This research is still underway. We have just received the data from our online survey platform and are in the process of developing and analyzing regression results. So far, results have been promising in that we have found significant willingness to pay for endangered species and we plan to perform the analysis before this Fall Research Symposium. This project will help shed light on how much individuals value the conservation of unique species in our national parks, which in turn can help inform future conservation efforts.


Utah State University

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Economics | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Stated and Revealed Preferences for Supporting Endangered Species at Mammoth Cave National Park

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Economics Commons