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Utilization of Grounded Theory Methodology (GTM) for the Development of a choice experiment: Preliminary Studies on the insurance value of biodiversity

As expetced, qualitative data analysis with GTM strategies led to a deeper insight into the perceptions non-expert respondents hold in regard to the different ecological and economic aspects of the ecological insurance hypothesis. To obtain theses insights, we followed an inductive analytical approach including an extensive, multi-step coding process. This process generated several 'axes' that provided insights into the general patterns of the description and appreciation of biodiversity and pointed out commonly held images of nature and attitudes towards the human-nature relation. In sum the results suggest that even non- experts have several concepts on nature and on biodiversity that relate well to the fundamental ideas of ecological risk insurance. These results allows us to deflect one of the most serious challenges likely to be brought against any attempt to quantify the value of precautionary insurance against unspecific or even unknown risks: the objection that such insurance benefits stem from aspects of ecosystem functioning with which non-experts are utterly unfamiliar. This means, central elements of the investigated insurance services appeared less unfamiliar to respondents than expected.