Environmental attitudes and place identity as determinants of preferences for ecosystem services

Michela Faccioli*, Mikołaj Czajkowski, Klaus Glenk, Julia Martin-Ortega

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)
79 Downloads (Pure)


Stated preference methods are frequently employed to measure people's willingness to pay (WTP) for ecosystem services. However, these techniques are also criticized for following a simplified approach, which often ignores the role of complex psychological and sociological factors, such as general environmental attitudes and place identity beliefs. By means of a discrete choice experiment exercise, we explored the influence of general environmental attitudes and place identity perceptions on WTP, taking peatland restoration in Scotland as a case study. Our research adds to the existing literature by providing a more nuanced picture of the determinants of WTP and by exploring and mapping the distribution of the estimated welfare measures. Our results, obtained from the estimation of hybrid choice models, show that people with more positive environmental attitudes and greater attachment to peatlands and Scotland tend to display higher WTP for peatland restoration. However, differences exist across respondents, depending on their socio-demographic profile and the geographical area. A better understanding of the heterogeneity of preferences for ecosystem services is helpful to guide more efficient policy design and to inform policy-makers about the distributional impacts of planned policies for equity considerations in project appraisal.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106600
JournalEcological Economics
Early online date15 May 2020
Publication statusPrint publication - Aug 2020


  • Discrete choice experiments
  • Environmental attitudes
  • Environmental valuation
  • Hybrid choice models
  • Peatlands
  • Place identity
  • Scotland


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