Using choice experiments to assess people's preferences for railway transports of hazardous materials

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article investigates whether the choice experiment approach can be used to assess people's preferences and the determinants of these preferences in order to estimate the costs and benefits of different configurations of the transport of hazardous materials by rail. Changes in the exposure to hazardous materials that people are subjected to are used rather than changes in accident risk. To the best knowledge of the author, this has not been done before in a study of people's preferences toward hazardous materials. A mail survey, carried out in two cities in Sweden, is used to obtain tentative estimates of the willingness to pay for a reduction in exposure as well as the willingness to accept an increase in exposure. Special attention is given to viability, since the complexity of the activity studied, transport of hazardous materials, and the method used pose particular challenges. The response rate and tests of validity and consistency indicate that this method can be applied. Moreover, the results suggest that studies of this kind may provide guidance on changes in the transport of hazardous materials, especially because policymakers may influence the attributes presented here. Referring to the exposure of hazardous materials highlights the importance of providing the respondents with adequate information regarding hazardous transports. An important finding is that the amount of background information may have some effect on the stated preferences.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Infrastructure Engineering


  • transportation, choice experiments, hazardous materials, risk
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1199-1214
JournalRisk Analysis: an official publication of the Society for Risk Analysis
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Publication categoryResearch