Moral Intensity And Willingness To Pay For Animal Welfare
This article provides findings from an experimental survey regarding two farm animal welfare issues. The results suggest that moral characteristics are positively linked to the “moral intensity” regarding specific issues and that there is also a positive relationship between moral intensity and willingness to pay for policies to address the issue.
An experimental contingent valuation (CV) survey of university students was undertaken to explore the impact of social consensus information on people’s stated willingness to pay (wtp) to address a farm animal welfare issue. The survey found that additional information presented to respondents on social consensus concerning the moral dimensions of the issue led to a greater perception of social consensus by respondents.
This greater perception of social consensus appeared to result in a higher level of moral intensity associated with the issue and a higher stated wtp by respondents for policy to address the issue. However, as for many CV studies of public goods, a question remains as to whether the estimated wtp is a true measure of people’s preferences and relative values or merely a measure of attitudes on an arbitrary monetary scale.[Abstract excerpted from report]