This year's course in Stated Preference Methods attracted 10 students from 8 different countries.

From India and back again

Avinandan Taron

Avinandan Taron must be seen as the most dedicated participant. He travelled for more than 24 hours and arrived on the course first day only to travel back to India on the course last day. Taron had heard of the course through a group of resource economics at the reseconers portal and wanted to deepen his knowledge after having worked in an EU project called STRIVER that researched on integrated water resource management at river basin level.

Taron has a PhD from the institute for Social and Economic change in Bangalore and is now working for SENSES consultants in Kolkata. His research areas are: valuation studies, efficiency in resource use, rural development, governance resource management, public goods and more.

Interview methods differ

By interviewing the subjects in a study, one receives more valuable information that is helpful while analysing the data according to Taron, this is done both in quantitative and qualitative research. He mentions that it’s a common way to collect data in India and that the questionnaires are made in English but the interview subject is encouraged to speak their own language to make them more comfortable. It is important to give the subject time to answer.

wtp-striverThis method was used in the STRIVER project and results from this project show that WTP (willingness to pay) was higher among the middle rich people than the head rich. Taron explains that people living by a river are situated according to wealth: the wealthiest are situated closer to the river mouth and the further away from the mouth you get, the lesser the wealth. This means that the wealthiest people don’t feel like they have to pay, for them there is never a shortage of water whilst the people living further down know shortage and are willing to pay for it.

Doubts cleared

Taking the Stated Preference course cleared a lot of doubts Taron had during his research. The course is very interactive which suited Taron, however, he felt it was short and would have preferred to stay and work with this a couple of weeks instead of one week. Taron hopes that he through this course has an appropriate model to continue his efforts to find a common ground for behavioural economics and valuation economics.  


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