Aestimum 77 (2020)
Original Articles - Urban, Land, Environmental Appraisal and Economics

Assessing the effects of “appeal to authority” in the evaluation of environmental goods. Evidences from an economic experiment in Mt Etna, Italy

Gioacchino Pappalardo
Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment - University of Catania
Sabrina Toscano
Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Di3A), University of Catania
Biagio Pecorino
Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Di3A), University of Catania
Published July 3, 2020
Keywords
  • Dry-stone walls,
  • Ecosystem services,
  • Willingness to pay,
  • Appeal to Authority
How to Cite
Pappalardo, G., Toscano, S., & Pecorino, B. (2020). Assessing the effects of “appeal to authority” in the evaluation of environmental goods. Evidences from an economic experiment in Mt Etna, Italy. Aestimum, 77, 113-125. https://doi.org/10.13128/aestim-8365

Abstract

In this study we aim to assess how public opinion perceives the value of dry-stone walls in the terraced vineyards of Mt Etna (Italy), recently named intangible cultural heritage of Humanity by UNESCO because they are an “example of human manufacture realized in perfect harmony with the environment”. We referred to the concept of “appeal to authority” that is a form of defeasible argument in which a claimed authority’s support is used as evidence for an argument’s conclusion. By a Contingent Valuation approach, we showed that the authoritative role of UNESCO affected people’s willingness to pay to preserve dry-stone walls in the terraced vineyards in Mt. Etna. The role of the Institutions dedicated to the protection of environmental goods appears relevant in promoting the preservation of environmental resources for future generations.