I presented a paper in both Alaska and Hawaii this year

It was the same paper. I was excited to boast that I might be the only person who has ever presented the same paper in the same year in the 49th and 50th states. As it turns out, I wasn’t the only one who has ever done that. Another person presented the same paper at the same two places at almost the same times! Ugh.

In June we attended the 2023 Summer Workshop at the University of Alaska Anchorage and presented during the same session.

In September we both presented in the Workshop on Energy and Environmental Research at the University of Hawaii just one week apart. Also, my presentation was virtual (not sure about Renato’s). 

But still, the population of economists who have presented a paper in both Alaska and Hawaii within a 4 month window has to be small. Maybe n=2. In that way, I’m special.

Here is the abstract and the presentation (PDF):

We estimate economic benefits of avoiding reductions in drinking water quality due to sea level rise accruing to North Carolina (NC) coastal tourists. Using stated preference stated preference methods data with recent coastal visitors, we find that tourists are 2%, 8%, and 11% less likely to take an overnight trip if drinking water tastes slightly, moderately, or very salty at their chosen destination. The majority of those who decline a trip would take a trip to another NC beach without water quality issues, others would take another type of trip, with a minority opting to stay home. Willingness to pay for an overnight beach trip declines with the salty taste of drinking water. We find evidence of attribute non-attendance in the stated preference data, which impacts the regression model and willingness to pay for trips. Combining economic and hydrology models, annual aggregate welfare losses due to low drinking water quality could be as high as $401 million, $656 million and $1.02 billion in 2040, 2060 and 2080.

What the abstract doesn’t describe is the funnest part. We get to use old-fashioned contingent valuation for valuing these trips … and it works (it always works!)! The literature review starts with Brown and Hammock (REStat 1973), spends some time in the 1980s and 1990s and then skips to 2017. 

A working paper should be out in about a week (incorporating comments from the paper posted at WEER). 


And hey, if you are doing stated preference research you probably have attribute non-attendance on your cost variable which biases your WTP estimates upwards. Even if you follow all of the guidelines in Johnston et al. (JAERE 2017) (which would make your study a multi-year, multi-million dollar endeavor).

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