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2008-01-23 | News

A Field Study in Cahuita National Park

A promising EfD project aims to investigate the determinants of these contributions, understanding the motivations behind donations and how external factors influence them.

Cahuita is a National Park in the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. This National Park does not charge entrance fees as other national parks in the country, but relies on voluntary contributions as an instrument to raise revenues for the park.

A promising EfD project aims to investigate the determinants of these contributions, understanding the motivations behind donations and how external factors influence them.

With the experience of the pilot study conducted successfully last April, the team of researchers came back to Cahuita to carry out the field work for a new research design. This design consists of two parts: a choice experiment and a natural field experiment.

Anna Nordén and Ida Hellmark coordinate the preparation and logistics for the field work. They are in charge of supervising a team of four interviewers from the community of Cahuita who are ready to receive both English and Spanish speaking tourists, and conduct approximately 1,000 choice experiment surveys and 2,500 field experiment observations, including 750 debriefing questionnaires.

The team work worked together in training sessions, preparing the questionnaires, revising the scripts and practicing for two weeks before starting the real data collection. All steps in the process are being carried out under the supervision of Francisco Alpízar, coordinator for EfD Central America, and Peter Martinsson, who escaped from the cold Swedish winter and visited Cahuita for four weeks. Francisco and Peter are hoping to coauthor a series of papers based on the different treatments incorporated into the experimental design of this study.

According to all team members, the project is running well, with a positive attitude from the interviewers and park authorities and the embracement of the community of Cahuita.

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