Journal Article

Preferences for coastal adaptation to climate change: evidence from a choice experiment


  • Meyerhoff
  • J.
  • Rehdanz
  • K.
  • Wunsch
  • A.K.
Publication Date

Climate change adaptation is essential for coastal areas. This paper adds to the limited evidence on the trade-offs people are willing to make concerning coastal adaptation strategies along an entire coast of a state (Baltic Sea coast of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania). The trade-offs are conceptualised in a choice experiment in terms of six attributes: the extent of beach nourishment, dyke heightening, cliff protection, access to dunes, realignment of dykes and dunes, and cost in terms of a coastal protection levy. The attributes were selected and designed in close cooperation, among others, with governmental decision-makers. Accounting for preference heterogeneity, we identified three latent groups among the participants of a nationwide online survey in Germany. Respondents who prefer extensive changes, respondents who are willing to pay only for an increase in dyke height, and respondents who are unwilling to cover additional expenses for adaptation. The aggregated welfare measures indicate that an adaptation scenario Recreation ranks highest followed by Safety and Nature. However, the scenarios do not represent unequivocal alternatives and provide essential insights into peoples’ preferences not only to policymakers and the administration in the case study region.

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Key Words

  • adaptation strategies
  • choice experiment
  • climate change
  • coastal protection

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