Economic Valuation of Urban Riverine Restoration and A Test of Social Desirability Bias

도심하천복원 경제가치 추정에서 사회규범편의 검정

  • Received : 2019.09.27
  • Accepted : 2019.11.15
  • Published : 2019.12.31


The hypothetical nature of stated preferences can lead to a hypothetical bias that might work as a normative pressure, influencing survey responses. This paper aims to test the impact of social desirability bias by comparing economic estimates based on both subjective and objective valuation questions. The case study is about an urban riverine restoration project in Deajeon, South Korea. As valuation methods both contingent valuation and choice experiments were comparatively applied. Based on a nationally representative sample of 1,000 respondents, the test results offered contrasting conclusions between two test approaches. Accroding to the estimation results based on the conventional valuation, the marginal willingness to pay estimates are 10,500 KRW from CV; and 18,600 KRW for improving water quality, 2,200 KRW for the inside view, 8,900 KRW for the outside view, and 5,800 KRW for biodiversity from CE. A segmentation-based approach is a conventionally used method, which showed a limited impact of social desirability on willingness to pay estimates. The alternative parameterization-based approach measures a model-wide impact of social desirability, proving a significant bias. Although the study positioned a cheap-talk statement before the valuation section of the survey questionnaires, which might have pre-screened the bias, the overall implications of the results suggest a caution in reducing and observing hypothetical bias. There might remain a significant and substantial hypothetical bias even after cheap-talk, particularly in situations with strong social desirability, so that the potential role of objective valuation questions is guaranteed.


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