@
[Japanese]
last updated 8.11.09

Web Site of Yohei MITANI


What's New?

  • A working paper "Public Goods Referenda" was revised on July 15. Also, I have uploaded here the abstract (long ver.) of "The Effects of Ecological Information Provision on Preferences for Ecosystem Restoration." I climbed Longs Peak (4347m), the highest peak in Rocky Mnt Natn Park on Aug 2, my first 14er. It was the hardest, toughest, and longest hike I have ever done. I sincerely respect all people who have hiked up to the peak. (Aug 11, 2009)
  • A working paper entitled "Public Goods Referenda" has been accepted for presentation at the AERE/ASSA meeting in Atlanta, January 2010. (May 23, 2009)
  • I run the Flatout 5K race on May 9. It took 22mins5sec. It was much thougher than I had expected. I updated some links to the conferences that I'm presenting my papers. Recently, I've been revising a paper entitled "New explanation of hypothetical bias." This is a major revision. (May 23, 2009)
  • A strong spring snow storm is coming here in Boulder. It's heavy and wet. I will be in Japan during May 26-June 7. I'm supposed to present my paper at the JEA spring meeting at Kyoto Univ. on June 7, implying I have to fly to Vermont, USA on June 8. It's gonna be a tough day. Just hope no flight delay. (Apr 17, 2009)
  • I will present my paper with Nick entitled "New Explanation for Hypothetical Bias" at the 2009 NAREA Workshop held in Burlington, Vermont, on June 9-10. Also, I will present my papers at the EAERE 17th Annual Conference at Amsterdam on June 24-27. (Apr 3, 2009)
  • I came back to Boulder from Japan. I gave a talk about "Introduction of Environmental Valuation" at the 56th Ecological Society Japan Annual Meeting on Mar 19 in Morioka and another talk about my current working paper with Nick entitiled "Public Goods Referenda without Perfectly Correlated Prices and Qualitities" at the Environmental Economics Seminar at Kobe Univ on Mar 26. I'd like to thank the organizers and all participants. (Mar 31, 2009)
  • I organized a session on "Ecosystems and Conservation Behavior: Toward Collaboration b/w Ecologists and Economists" for the 2008 SEEPS Annual Meeting, which will be held at Osaka Univ. in Japan on Sep 28th 2008. (Aug 11, 2008)

Introduction

Contact Information

  • E-mail:
    • ymitani@moegi.waseda.jp
      mitani@colorado.edu
  • Address
    • Institute of Behavioral Science, 468 UCB, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309
  • URL:
    • http://homepage3.nifty.com/ymitani/

Fields of Interest

  • Primary Fields:
    • Environmental Economics
      • non-market valuation, stated preference methods, biodiversity, information effects, social interaction, recreation demand, common resource
  • Secondary Fields:
    • Experimental Economics
      • public goods experiments, hypothetical bias, mechinism, incentive, gender difference, preference formation, common resource games
    • Applied Econometrics
      • discrete choice models, mixed logit model, latent class model

Education

  • Ph.D. Economics, Graduate School of Economics, Waseda University. March, 2008.
    (Exchanged to the Univ. of Colorado, Boulder; Advisor Nicholas Flores; Aug 2006-Mar 2008)
  • M.S. Economics, Waseda University. March, 2005.
  • B.A. Economics, Waseda University. March, 2003.

Research Experience


Published Papers written in English

  1. Nobuyuki Ito, Kenji Takeuchi, Koichi Kuriyama, Yasushi Shoji, Takahiro Tsuge, and Yohei Mitani. "The Influence of Decision-making Rules on Individual Preferences for Ecological Restoration: Evidence from an Experimental Survey," Ecological Economics, in press, DOI:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2009.03.022. April 2009.
  2. Yohei Mitani and Nicholas E. Flores. "Demand Revelation, Hypothetical Bias, and Threshold Public Goods Provision," Environmental and Resource Economics, Online First, DOI: 10.1007/s10640-009-9281-9. March 2009.
  3. Yohei Mitani, Yasushi Shoji, and Koichi Kuriyama. "Estimating Economic Values of Vegetation Restoration with Choice Experiments: A Case Study of Endangered Species in Lake Kasumigaura, Japan," Landscape and Ecological Engineering, 4: 103-113. September 2008.
  4. Yasushi Shoji, Yohei Mitani, Taro Mieno, and Koichi Kuriyama. "Providing quality recreation experiences in Japan," Economics Bulletin, Vol. 17, No. 7, pp.1-11. April 2008.
  5. Yohei Mitani and Nicholas Flores. "Does Gender Matter for Demand Revelation in Threshold Public Goods Experiments?," Economics Bulletin, Vol. 3, No. 27, pp.1-7. June 2007.

Working Papers written in English

  1. Yohei Mitani and Nicholas Flores, "Public Goods Referenda without Perfectly Correlated Prices and Quantities," March 2009.
      Abstract
      Recent experimental economic studies of the validity of dichotomous choice contingent valuation (CV) indicate that consequentiality of a referendum vote is an important element for making the CV referendum incentive compatible. In these previous studies, possible economic outcomes of a referendum are limited to only two outcomes: (1) the referendum is binding and therefore the good is provided and the payment is collected or (2) the referendum is not binding and neither the good is provided nor is the payment collected. In these experiments, provision and payment are perfectly correlated when there is uncertainty over whether the referendum is binding. While studies to date provide important insights into CV referenda, a fundamentally important feature of CV referenda is overlooked. In instances where we typically need to apply CV referenda, prices (amount paid) and quantities (provision of the good) are rarely, if ever, perfectly correlated. Our research relaxes this assumption in an induced-value experimental setting as well as theoretical analysis and we gain new insights that are contrary to results from studies that utilize a perfectly correlated design. First, we explore the incentive properties of probabilistic referenda with and without a perfectly correlated design. Then, we provide an induced-value experimental test of our theoretical predictions. The results suggest that moving away from perfectly correlated prices and quantities undermines the incentive compatibility result found in other studies. The experimental results are consistent with choices made by risk-averse agents in our theoretical analysis. Our results in standard perfectly correlated induced-value experiments confirm previous findings of probabilistic referenda. Our results also suggest that a negative hypothetical bias possibly occurs even in consequential probabilistic referenda if there are four possible outcomes in respondents' cognitive processes and respondents have concave utility functions, implying that dichotomous choice CV possibly underestimates true values.
      Presentation (presented in English)

  2. Yohei Mitani, "The Effects of Ecological Information Provision on Preferences for Ecosystem Restoration," June 2008.
      Abstract
      With the dramatic increase in ecosystem restoration activity around the world, understanding public preferences for ecosystem restoration projects has received more attention. Since the public is usually unfamiliar with the implications of ecological descriptions of ecosystem restoration, it is important to capture the impacts of ecological information provision on the publicfs value formation. This paper explores the effects of providing ecology-based information in a web-survey on respondentsf comprehension of ecological information and respondentsf perception of ecosystem condition. The paper also analyzes the information effects on the willingness-to-pay distribution for the ecosystem restoration. The results show two types of information effects: the ecological information increases the mean willingness to pay, and the information decreases the variance of willingness to pay. Also, the results indicate that the impacts of information provision depend on the types of ecological restoration attributes: while weak or no effects are observed for relatively familiar attributes like water quality, strong effects are observed for relatively unfamiliar attributes like biodiversity. This implies that the ecological information provision would be especially important for valid valuations of ecosystem restorations when the respondents are unfamiliar with the ecological concepts.
      Presentation (presented in English)

  3. Yohei Mitani and Nicholas Flores, "A New Explanation for Hypothetical Bias: Subjective Probabilities of Hypothetical Aspects in Payment and Provision," September 2007.
      Abstract
      The issue of hypothetical bias in stated preference economic analysis is one of historical and ongoing concern. However, there is no theoretical explanation of hypothetical bias and the underlying causes are not yet sufficiently understood. This paper theoretically and experimentally examines the effect of payment and provision uncertainty in a threshold provision mechanism. Our theoretical investigation summarizes that the relative importance between payment and provision uncertainty is essential for the explanation of hypothetical bias. The experimental design uses an induced-value framework that provides explicit payment and provision probabilities in the game. Our analysis of the data emphasizes the effect of payment and provision uncertainty on subjects' stated payments. The data and empirical fixed effect censored regression results support our predictions. Our analysis suggests that: 1) the probability of payment has a negative effect on payments; 2) the probability of provision has a positive effect on payments. Our results further indicate that when the change in the probability of payment across real and hypothetical treatments is the same as the change in probability of provision, hypothetical bias does not occur, supporting results from recent induced-values studies. Results also indicate that when the change in probability of payment is much more than the change in probability of provision, positive hypothetical bias occurs. This result is a potential explanation of positive hypothetical bias in empirical findings.
      Presentation (presented in English)

  4. Yohei Mitani, "Using Choice Experiments to Value a Shallow Lake Ecosystem and Capture the Preference Heterogeneity," September 2007.
      Abstract
      Ecosystem Restoration Strategy for the Kushiro Mire was designed in 2005. Since ecosystem restoration was put into practice, capturing preferences for the restoration in the public has been a great challenge. Lake Takkobu is one of the five pilot areas in the Kushiro mire ecosystem restoration project. The restoration project valued in this paper consists of four attributes, which are derived from ecological evaluation criteria: 1) restoration of biodiversity; 2) protection of endangered species; 3) improvement of water quality; and 4) regulation of recreational use. As the desired restoration endpoints, we established two endpoints based on ecological survey data. One is the restoration level that shifted to the stable state with clear-water quality in 1991, and the other one is the conservation level that maintains the state in 2003 before it shifted to the stable state with turbid-water quality. We conducted a web-based computer-assisted survey. The respondents were Hokkaido residents and nationwide residents. The number of valid responses was 442 from Hokkaido and 425 nationwide. First, we evaluated the benefits that the ecosystem restoration in the lake brings to Hokkaido residents. The mean willingness to pay to improve the water quality to the clear-state is about 6500 JPY. Next, the random parameter logit analysis clarifies that there exists preference heterogeneity among individuals in Hokkaido. Regarding the magnitude of relative heterogeneity, the water quality improvement was the lowest, yet the conservation of endangered species, the restoration of biodiversity, and the regulation of recreational use become high in this order. Third, the latent segment logit analysis makes it clear that there exist two homogeneous groups. One is the group (25%) who does not value the ecosystem restoration but values the water quality improvement or recreational use. The other is the group (75%) who values the ecosystem restoration like the conservation of endangered species. Forth, comparing the Hokkaido sample with the nationwide sample, we examine an issue of beneficiary area and find that preferences for the restoration of biodiversity are different between the publics in Hokkaido and nationwide.
      Presentation (presented in English)

  5. Yohei Mitani, "Influence of Subjective Perception on Stated Preference Heterogeneity," September 2006.
      Abstract
      Recently, many previous studies have shown that respondents' preferences for environmental goods often vary across individuals and groups. They indicate that it is important to handle the heterogeneous preferences. However, the explanation for the causes of the preference heterogeneity remains as a major issue in the stated preference methods. When respondents are unfamiliar with the goods such as ecosystem services and the explanation is not explicitly described, the stated willingness to pay will depend on their subjective perceptions rather than the objective goods that a survey asks them to value. This paper examines the effect of subjective perception on the stated willingness to pay as a cause of the preference heterogeneity. In my model, preference for an environmental quality change depends on subjective perceived quality instead of objective quality and also on individual characteristics which consist of socio-economic and psychometric variables; at the same time, respondents' subjective perceptions also depend on respondents' individual characteristics. The data was collected through choice experiments about endangered species conservation, which were conducted in a web-based survey. Individual-specific willingness to pay was estimated using a Bayesian mixed logit model and was used as individual's preference. Employed in this paper is a simultaneous equations model, in which willingness to pay and subjective perception are jointly estimated. My empirical results show that: (1) respondent's subjective perception is formed by his/her motivation, knowledge, and understanding. (2) As well, the stated willingness to pay is dependent on not only attitude, motivation, and gender but also the subjective perception. These findings support that respondent's willingness to pay is made based on their subjective perception, indicating that the subjective perception is one of the significant causes of the preference heterogeneity. This finding also shows that prior knowledge as well as posterior understanding has a positive effect on respondents' willingness to pay through their subjective perception endogeneously.
      Presentation (presented in English)

  6. Masaru Kohno, Yohei Mitani, and Masahisa Endo, "A Unified Model of Voters' Behavior under Multiparty Elections with its Application to the Japanese Case," April 2006.
      Abstract
      This paper presents a unified model of voters' behavior under multiparty elections. We believe that our model goes a step beyond the previous literature in two respects. First, we account for both voters' decision to participate in voting and voters' choice of which party to vote for in a single analytical framework. Second, we take seriously the problem of voters' heterogeneous preference. In order to highlight the model's performance, we subject it to an empirical test, using a recent nation-wide survey data from Japan. Our finding supports that it is more appropriate to integrate, not separate, the question of voting participation and that of voting direction. It also shows that the ways in which explanatory variables affect the voters' decisions are not uniform. Some variables, such as ideology and group-affiliation, turn out to be homogenous in their impact, while the effects of voters' psychological affiliation as well as voters' retrospective evaluation of government performance are heterogeneous.
      Presentation (presented in English)

  7. Yohei Mitani and Koichi Kuriyama, "What Factors are Responsible for Decision Making in a Threshold Environmental Goods Experiment: a Consideration of Hypothetical Bias in Stated Preferences" July 2006.

  8. Yohei Mitani and Koichi Kuriyama, "Measuring the Value of the Vegetation Restoration: Capturing Preference Heterogeneity," June 2005.
      Abstract

      Presentation (presented in English)
      1. European Association of Environmental and Resource Economics (EAERE) 14th Annual Conference, June 23-26, 2005, Bremen, Germany


Published Papers written in Japanese

  1. Shoji, Y., Yamaki, K., Mitani, Y., Tsuge, T., and Kuriyama, K. "Understanding a Site-Choice Behavior for National Parks in Hokkaido, Japan: A Choice Experiment Approach," Landscape Research Japan, 71, 635-638. May 2008. (written in Japanese)
  2. Yohei Mitani. "Applying Latent Class Models to Capture the Preference Heterogeneity: A Case Study of Valuing Cultural Heritage," Waseda Economic Studies, 64, 29-48, March 2007. (written in Japanese)
  3. Mitani, Y. and Kuriyama, K. "Nature Restoration Projects and Environmental Valuation: A case study of vegetation restoration of Asaza in lake Kasumigaura, Japan." Japanese Journal of Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, 10, 60-72. December 2005. (written in Japanese)
  4. Yohei Mitani. "Valuing Practical Use of Cultural Heritage with Choice Experiments: A case study of the Usui Pass in the railway system, Japan." Waseda Economics Studies, 59, 61-78. June 2004. (written in Japanese)

Book Chapters written in Japanese

  1. Mitani, Y., Kuriyama, K., and Shoji, Y. "Recent Developments in Discrete Choice Modeling.h In Kuriyama, K. and Shoji, Y. (ed.), Economic Valuation of Environment and Recreation: Conservation and Management of National Park. Keiso-Shobo, 95-134. October 2005. (written in Japanese)
  2. Shoji, Y., Kuriyama, K., and Mitani, Y. gAn Empirical Study in Daisetuzan National Park.h In Kuriyama, K. and Shoji, Y. (ed.), Economic Valuation of Environment and Recreation: Conservation and Management of National Park. Keiso-Shobo, 179-230. October 2005. (written in Japanese)

Ph.D Thesis

  • Essays on Non-Market Valuation (Jan 18, 2008)
    1. Introduction
    2. Discrete Choice Modeling for Valuing Endangered Species (with Koich Kuriyama)
    3. Using Choice Experiments to Value a Shallow Lake Ecosystem and Capture the Preference Heterogeneity
    4. Hypothetical and Real Bias in Threshold Public Goods Experiments: Demand Revelation and Gender Differences (with Nicholas Flores)
    5. A New Explanation for Hypothetical Bias: Subjective Beliefs of Hypothetical Aspects in Payment and Provision (with Nicholas Flores)
    6. Conclusion

Master Thesis

  • Essays on the Stated Preference Methods (Jan 11, 2005)
    • Iigima prize (April 2005)

Professional Memberships


[Japanese Page]