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Sophia M
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A protest bid that arose in this article was that the coral reefs were believed to be a public good which allowed everyone “free and unlimited access.” Interestingly the follow-up to this notion usually was that therefore preservation efforts ought to be the Mexican Government’s responsibility. As we discussed in class, public goods often suffer from market failure. Government measures are often relied on to correct these failures. However, in the case of this survey, a large source of concern for those who were willing to pay to protect the reefs was an issue of faith in the Mexican Government to execute the task faithfully. In both cases perhaps some of the respondents are releasing responsibility of taking care of the reefs onto the government, the unwilling to pay more directly, and the willing to pay citing doubt in government ability as a possible escape from having to pay. Secondly, a quarter of those interviewed in this survey were couples. I am not entirely sure how the surveys were carried out in this case, but perhaps could bias result from a greater degree of permanence that these respondents may feel in their answers—their partner will know how they answered in the survey, and the results may then follow them home? Perhaps a more sympathetic response will be fostered by this? Furthermore, facing the interviewer (my assumption W&L students on the beach?) rather than completing a survey with no faces or human interaction could be a changing factor when push comes to shove, and a fee must be paid in some form that will unlikely include a person who’s opinion of you may change to be accountable to. Another topic of interest was the column in Table 8 that included percentages evaluating the friendliness of tourist activities, broken down into friendly, neutral, and unfriendly. I would be interested to learn what these categories reference. Were they self-reported, or did interviewers assess from the type of activities the interviewee reported they were at the reef to do? What classified as unfriendly activities? Were those being “friendly” in their activities more likely to pay, or more likely to try to take the protection of the reef into their own hands. Lastly, the length of the survey is mentioned in the study. Length is broken up into two groups, a dummy variable of 1 or 0 for survey A or M. It is noted that statistically significant results were found supporting that longer survey times decreased the willingness to pay of respondents. This also seems to imply that however the ultimate method of collecting the fee for coral reef protection may come about, it needs to be brief for the tourists to cause as little resentment or frustration as possible. Protecting the reef may be important, but perhaps not as important to the tourist as his/her own time.
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Feb 4, 2014