Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Stephen Swallow, Charles Towe, Juliana Barrett

Field of Study

Agricultural and Resource Economics


Master of Science

Open Access

Open Access


Climate change threatens our established communities worldwide through consistently increased average surface temperatures, rising sea levels, and precipitation extremes, and Connecticut is no exception (U.S. Global Change Research Program 2017). As coastal communities in Connecticut increase their focus on mitigating the effects of climate change, they are not always able to incorporate town residents’ preferences and values into their planning; particularly those residents who may not receive a direct benefit from the plan of which they contribute tax dollars towards. Our study attempts to estimate these preferences and values by using a choice experiment survey distributed across the Connecticut coastline which compares various coastal management plans and their outcomes. We use the survey’s results to estimate how public support for a coastal management plan is affected by a plan’s impacts on natural and built assets, and by respondents’ geographic location along the Connecticut coastline. Additionally, we employ Latent Class Modeling which groups respondents by their underlying preferences in order to further evaluate how respondents’ unobservable characteristics affect their choice of a coastal management plan.

Major Advisor

Professor Stephen Swallow