Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version

August 1998


Selected Paper, American Agricultural Economics Association Meetings, Salt Lake City, Utah, August 2-5, 1998. Used by permission.


Groundwater quality improvement benefits for Nebraska were estimated using both contingent valuation (CV) and averting expenditures (AE) methods. Willingness to pay (WTP) and averting expenditures were measured based on a mail survey of 4,000 randomly selected Nebraska households that was conducted in mid October 1997. A double-bounded referendum format was used to elicit WTP for water quality improvements. The questionnaire also solicited information on the socioeconomic factors hypothesized to influence WTP and averting expenditures, including: risk perceptions, age, level of education, income, length of stay in Nebraska, source of water supply, opinions regarding who should pay for water quality programs, and presence of children as well as pregnant woman in the home. The response rate for the Dillman mail survey procedure was 35 percent, resulting in 1416 useable responses.