Global climate change is quite possibly the most serious challenge that faces us today. Consumers and businesses alike are thinking more seriously about their environmental impact and what they can do to reduce their carbon footprint. One industry uniquely tied to the environment and concerned with its well-being is the ski industry and one way to achieve this reduction is through carbon offsets. Using data collected through a contingent valuation study regarding consumer behavior, this thesis analyzes the factors that affect consumers' willingness to pay (WTP) for carbon offsets in the ski industry. The study finds that age, gender, and climate knowledge are highly influential on WTP, and that the use of tax credits as an incentive provides the greatest increase in consumer WTP.
A key element of any business is determining the profit maximizing price of a good. Yet each price level will exclude some consumers who find the equilibrium too high and refrain from entering the market. If a similar product could be offered at a lower price it may lure the abstaining customers to consume, thereby increasing profits. For an industry that is flustering like the music industry, it is crucial new sales methods are found to continue growth and expansion. This paper evaluates an MP3 bundle as a modified product to attract new customers and encourage current customer to purchase more songs. Survey response data is used to determine a profit maximizing price at which to offer the modified digital song.
Hunting licenses do not represent the true value of the sport for hunters. This study examines the monetary value hunters, resident and non-resident, place on elk hunting in Colorado and which factors affect their valuation. The contingent valuation method is used to determine this information through a survey that was posted on several internet hunting forums. A hypothetical fee increase in hunting licenses from an improvement in elk habitat is used in the survey. To elicit a response, this study uses a two part question for willingness to pay, which is different from previous studies. First, intervals are presented and then the respondent answers an open-ended question. The data obtained from the survey is analyzed using the Tobit regression method. Separate regression equations are used for resident and non-resident hunters. The study finds that Colorado resident and non-resident hunters have differing views on the amount of license fee increase they would accept and base their decision on different factors.
The world is attempting to become more sustainable while at the same time enhance economic and social wellbeing. Part of this movement is the support of consumer interest in small local farms. Through a contingent valuation we see that Virginia consumers are willing to pay an average premium of about 20% for in-state produce and animal products. Results show that 58% of Virginia consumers are willing to purchase in-state produce and 59% are willing to purchase in-state animal products at the 20% premium. Consumers are willing to pay more for local goods depending on certain demographics and personal preferences. Premiums for local products are subjective to gender, age, income, residential location, certain perceptions of local products, and other important factors. Our findings from analyzing these variables show that farming locally can be beneficial for the consumers, producers, local economy, and the environment.
Existing literature on hospital pricing and price variation is split on whether price differentials in hospital billing are demand or supply led. To harmonize this literature, we use data from the Medicare Hospital Compare website to evaluate the interaction between demand and supply factors that influence hospital pricing structure. We use consumers’ net willingness-to-pay (net WTP) as the dependent variable to analyze how providers exploit factors that enable a provider to charge high prices to consumers. We find that high prices are reflective of the perceived quality but find no relationship with the actual quality of care. In line with previous literature, our analysis shows no evidence of cross- subsidization between inpatient DRGs. However, we find no interaction of factors that could adequately explain the full extent of observed variation in provider prices. We conclude that the question, “Should I buy here or keep driving?” is complex and cannot be answered by a simple analysis of which healthcare provider is cheaper.