Title page for ETD etd-0707103-110638


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Bhandari, Doleswar
URN etd-0707103-110638
Title An Economic Analysis of Homeowners' Preferences and Perceptions Regarding Termite Prevention and Control in Louisiana
Degree Master of Science (M.S.)
Department Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Michael A. Dunn Committee Chair
Krishna P. Paudel Committee Member
Kurt M. Guidry Committee Member
Richard P. Vlosky Committee Member
Keywords
  • willingness to pay
  • real
  • termite
  • hypothetical
  • likert scale
  • ordered probit
  • fst
  • logistic regression
Date of Defense 2003-06-12
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
This thesis used a mail survey to collect data on homeowners' preferences and perceptions regarding termite prevention and control in four metropolitan areas of Louisiana (Monroe, Alexandria, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans). Respondents were asked to rank four different alternatives differing in cost, treatment choice, and number of inspections on termite control options. These ordered preference data were then analyzed using a contingent ranking method to determine the homeowner's choice for termite control. It was found that more than three-fourths (77%) of homeowners preferred to control termites and were willing to pay for it.

In addition to contingent ranking, willingness to pay (WTP) value was elicited to examine homeowners' real and hypothetical willingness to pay for termite control. Real willingness to pay for termite control was calculated based on the house size and the respondent's current termite control contract. A hypothetical willingness to pay question was asked immediately after respondents were asked to rank the four alternative termite control options. The first question asked a dichotomous choice to respondents regarding whether they were willing to pay $0.56 for termite control. In the second stage, they were asked to state the WTP amount in an open format. The estimated average annual hypothetical and real willingness to pay for a homeowner were 32 cents and 16 cents per square foot of home living space, respectively, indicating that there was a significant level of hypothetical bias in the elicitation process. Length of home ownership, living space, market value of home, attitude about whether or not respondents consider termites to be an existing problem in their neighborhoods, income, ethnicity, and gender were significant variables in determining respondents' willingness to pay for termite control. The differences between hypothetical and real willingness to pay were attributed to length of home ownership, living space, attitude about whether or not respondents consider termites to be an existing problem in their neighborhoods, and income.

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