Xiaolin Ren (U Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)
Arianto A. Patunru (U Indonesia)
John B. Braden (U Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)
Language Related Differences in Environmental Benefits Estimation:
Evidence from a Mail Survey
In a contingent valuation study, failing to accommodate populations with limited language skills might yield biased estimates of environmental benefits. In the United States, there are many residents primarily fluent in Spanish. This study uses conditional logit models applied to data from a bilingual (English and Spanish) conjoint choice mail survey to evaluate the effects of language proficiency on estimates of the economic benefits of contaminated site cleanup. After correcting for other factors, the results of both pooled and separate analysis of the language subsamples indicate that language does have significant effects on estimates of the economic benefits. Differences between the subpopulations who declare Spanish as their primary language and those who responded to the Spanish version of the survey suggest, although not conclusively, that translation of a survey into a second language can change the variability of the responses and pose econometric challenges. The results suggest that a mail survey addressing an environmental issue that may affect a linguistically diverse population should be designed at the outset with multiple languages in mind.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Another new article
conditional on minor edits (more detail, later). This paper explores on the same survey as this.