Distance and regional effects on the value of wild bee conservation

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Many wild bee species are threatened across Europe, and with them the pollination function they provide. While numerous studies have assessed the value of bees as pollinators of crops, little is known about the non-marked value of bees. Using a choice modelling experiment, we examine these non-market values in Germany by identifying citizens’ willingness to pay (WTP) for wild bee conservation initiatives in four states. Effects of distance, state and regional affiliation are scrutinised, as previous research found these to affect respondents’ choices. Random parameter logit and latent class models are used to capture preference heterogeneity. Overall, we find strong support of wild bee conservation and a clear preference for improvement relative to the status quo, particularly in natural areas and for rare or endangered species. The yearly WTP for conservation initiatives ranges from 227 to 447€ per household. Our results show distance and regional effects on WTP. Initiatives in respondents’ home states are preferred, and increasing distance to initiatives in other states result in a slightly reduced WTP. Additionally, we observe regional preferences within an eastern and a western home region. These preferences are not explainable by socio-demographic characteristics, home state or distance and probably linked to social and cultural affiliations. We conclude that for widespread support in society and effective conservation initiatives, policy proposals must address this spatial heterogeneity from distance and regional effects.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental and Resource Economics
Pages (from-to)37–63
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.

    Research areas

  • Biodiversity, Choice experiment, Distance effect, Latent class, Non-market valuation, Random parameter logit, Regional identity

ID: 326634171