National Institute for Agriculture and Food Research and Technology INIA

Madrid, Spain

National Institute for Agriculture and Food Research and Technology INIA

Madrid, Spain
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Farizo B.A.,Institute for Public Goods and Policies IPP | Louviere J.J.,University of Technology, Sydney | Solino M.,National Institute for Agriculture and Food Research and Technology INIA | Solino M.,University of Valladolid
Land Use Policy | Year: 2014

This paper discusses the design and analysis of a choice experiment regarding preferences for possible transformations of a mountain landscape traditionally used for grazing. Visual impacts related to changing a mountain landscape associated with a new ski resort development are evaluated versus an option with less environmental impact, such as a health spa or "no development". A multi-level latent class framework is applied to simultaneously obtain those groups of people who choose similarly and are grouped locally, but are also defined by their location, assuming that their choices are representative of what they like and would choose. Groups from the mountains are classified into one specific grand class. Some individuals who live in urban areas have attitudes and beliefs similar to those who live in the mountains, and they also are classified into that same grand class. The model also identifies seven lower-level groups of individuals, each with their own structure of preferences. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Dominguez-Torreiro M.,Cantabrian Agricultural Research Center | Duran-Medrano R.,University of Vigo | Solino M.,National Institute for Agriculture and Food Research and Technology INIA | Solino M.,University of Valladolid
Land Use Policy | Year: 2013

This article deals with the issues of welfare measurement and preference heterogeneity for Rural Development Programs (RDPs) in Cantabria, Spain. People from urban and rural localities would benefit from improvements in the provision of public goods and externalities promoted by RDPs, but their preferences may be quite different. Heterogeneous preferences between urban and rural dwellers would hinder the proper estimation and aggregation of social welfare. Results show significant differences between rural and urban residents. However, the social legitimacy of RDPs, in terms of positive welfare changes, would prevail in both rural and urban settings. The article concludes that accurately measuring social welfare values and explaining preference patterns is a key issue for developing effective multifunctional policies. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Dominguez-Torreiro M.,Cantabrian Agricultural Research Center | Solino M.,National Institute for Agriculture and Food Research and Technology INIA
Ecological Economics | Year: 2011

This article presents a choice experiment analyzing multifunctional rural development policies targeting conservation and recovery of environmental, social and cultural assets. In choice experiments a base alternative is usually included in order to estimate the welfare change associated to policy proposals. This study is concerned with the much neglected issue of the impact on policy analysis of the definition of a 'status quo' alternative either as an objective assessment by experts, or as a self-reported perception by respondents. Convergent validity analysis and prospective policy scenarios show a significant impact of different status quo specifications on individuals' preferences and related welfare measures when complex and unfamiliar biophysical systems are involved in policy analysis and evaluation. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Kaal J.,Institute Ciencias Del Patrimonio Incipit | Martinez Cortizas A.,University of Santiago de Compostela | Reyes O.,University of Santiago de Compostela | Solino M.,National Institute for Agriculture and Food Research and Technology INIA
Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis | Year: 2012

Gorse species (Ulex sp.) are ubiquitous in the shrublands of NW Spain and have the potential to become key players in an integral biofuel/biochar program in NW Spain. Here we present molecular characterization (using pyrolysis-GC/MS) of a biochar "thermosequence" obtained by laboratory heating of Ulex europaeus wood in a muffle furnace between 200 and 600°C (T CHAR). Low temperature chars (T CHAR ≤ 350°C) produced significant amounts of pyrolysis products of which the precursor biopolymer could be recognized, while high-temperature chars (T CHAR ≥ 400°C) produced mainly phenols and monocyclic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are not specific for any biopolymer. Carbohydrate could hardly be recognized at T CHAR ≥ 350°C. The thermal rearrangement of polyphenols, mainly lignin, was reflected in more detail (1) C 3-side chain shortening and probably depolymerization (T CHAR 200-350°C), (2) demethoxylation of syringyl and probably also some guaiacyl lignin (T CHAR 300-400°C), (3) elimination of virtually all remaining methoxyl groups (T CHAR 350-400°C), through dehydroxylation and demethoxylation, (4) almost complete dehydroxylation of lignin and other biopolymers (T CHAR 400-500°C), (5) progressive condensation into polyaromatic structures (T CHAR 300-500°C) and (6) partial elimination of alkyl bridges between (poly)aromatic moieties (T CHAR 450-500°C). These results were supported by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) of the same samples. We conclude that pyrolysis-GC/MS can be used as a rapid molecular screening method of gorse-derived biochar. Molecular properties elucidation is an essential part of predicting the stability and agronomical behavior of gorse-derived biochar after future implementation in soils. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Farizo B.A.,Institute for Public Goods and Policies IPP | Joyce J.,Stockholm International Water Institute | Solino M.,National Institute for Agriculture and Food Research and Technology INIA
Land Economics | Year: 2014

One of the main issues on the research agenda regarding stated preference methods concerns the heterogeneity of preferences either within or between individuals. We present a multilevel mixed model (MMM) to capture heterogeneity in deterministic utility components, instead of simply leaving them to random components. MMM captures heterogeneity at different levels: individuals, locations, and groups of individuals sharing other characteristics. The results show that individuals' surroundings help to capture heterogeneity, and that can be controlled by specifying these aspects as predictors for this behavioral model. Therefore, MMM may contribute to the identification of the underlying structure affecting environmental decisions. (JEL D62, Q51). © 2014 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System.


Solino M.,National Institute for Agriculture and Food Research and Technology INIA | Solino M.,University of Valladolid | Farizo B.A.,Institute for Public Goods and Policies IPP
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Personality plays a role in human behavior, and thus can influence consumer decisions on environmental goods and services. This paper analyses the influence of the big five personality dimensions (extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness) in a discrete choice experiment dealing with preferences for the development of an environmental program for forest management in Spain. For this purpose, a reduced version of the Big Five Inventory survey (the BFI-10) is implemented. Results show a positive effect of openness and extraversion and a negative effect of agreeableness and neuroticism in consumers' preferences for this environmental program. Moreover, results from a latent class model show that personal traits help to explain preference heterogeneity. © 2014 Soliño, Farizo.


Solino M.,National Institute for Agriculture and Food Research and Technology INIA | Joyce J.,Stockholm International Water Institute | Farizo A.,Institute for Public Goods and Policies IPP
International Journal of Environmental Research | Year: 2013

The Water Framework Directive (WFD) is a far-reaching piece of European Community legislation. Estimates of the benefits of WFD Programs are needed at the present time for two reasons. First, the WFD itself allows for derogations from the general requirement of member states to reach good ecological status in all water bodies by 2015 in cases where the costs of doing so can be shown to be disproportionate. This paper presents a contingent valuation survey for the valuation and desirability of improvements regarding the WFD in England and Wales. According to our behavioral models, positive welfare changes constitute a sound argument in favor of the development of programs developed to increase the water quality. Moreover, the paper tests how the 'departure' endowments influence the willingness to pay for water quality improvements. In this sense, scope test and diminishing marginal value hypothesis are examined. The average willingness to pay appears to be insensitive to the water improvement intensity and a scope bias could be affecting our results. Nevertheless, it is shown a marginal decreasing value for water quality improvements and that the environmental program leads to different wellbeing intensity attending to local endowments.


Solino M.,National Institute for Agriculture and Food Research and Technology INIA | Farizo B.A.,Institute of Public Goods and Policies IPP | Vazquez M.X.,University of Vigo | Prada A.,University of Vigo
Energy Policy | Year: 2012

This paper presents a choice experiment analyzing the consumers' preferences towards a policy for replacing conventional electricity with electricity generated from forest biomass. The results show that consumers specially prefer the effects related to the lower risk of forest fires and to the decrease in pressure on non-renewable resources. The article also presents a methodological test in relation to the payment timeframe and its effect on marginal willingness to pay and consistency of responses using choice experiments. The most frequent and realistic payments are associated with lower presence of inconsistent responses. Finally, we cannot reject the null hypothesis of no effects of payment timeframe on marginal willingness to pay. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Solino M.,National Institute for Agriculture and Food Research and Technology INIA
Bioresource Technology | Year: 2010

This article analyses the willingness to pay for a program that promotes the production of electricity from forest biomass, instead of that based on fossil fuels. The program decreases greenhouse gas emissions, reduces the pressure on non-renewable resources, lowers the risk of summer forest fires, creates employment in rural areas. Results from a choice experiment show that consumers are willing to pay a higher price for electricity in order to obtain the external benefits of the substitution. Respondents attach a higher value to programs that decrease the pressure of non-renewable resources and the risk of forest fires. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd.


Solino M.,National Institute for Agriculture and Food Research and Technology INIA | Prada A.,University of Vigo | Vazquez M.X.,University of Vigo
Journal of Forest Economics | Year: 2010

Recent issues of this journal have presented an interesting debate regarding forest fires in Galicia, Spain. This article proposes a forest-energy programme that will contribute to reducing the risk of forest fires in this Atlantic Region of Southern Europe. We apply the contingent valuation method to assess a programme whereby 10% of the electricity produced from coal, fuel oil and gas would be replaced by electricity generated in biomass power plants. The programme would begin implementation in 2005 and it would take 6 years (up to 2010) before we reach the 10% goal. The results show that Galician households are willing to pay a mean of 38 Euros per year. In addition, we have introduced an innovative procedure to detect protest responses related to the payment vehicle in a contingent valuation. Heckman's sample-selection procedure is used to analyse the WTP function. © 2009 Elsevier GmbH.

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