How to value protection from natural hazards – a step-by-step discrete choice approach
In mountainous regions, forests play a crucial role in protecting the local population from natural hazards. In cases where existing forests are destroyed, e.g. by wind throws or diseases, the protection function has to be restored through technical measures. To determine the willingness to pay (WTP) for protection against avalanches, a choice experiment has been conducted and different experiment specifications have been tested to determine possible impacts on the results. The present study contributes to a comprehensive assessment of protection measures, and helps to identify efficient solutions based on the judgement of the people potentially endangered by natural hazards. The stepwise approach has the advantage to gradually check data fit, thereby didactically showing an operational way of dealing with different model specifications. The detailed case study can serve as a manual for conducting choice experiments with a similar focus and demonstrates the suitability and caveats of this approach to value protection from natural hazards in general.