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Valuing the Environment through Contingent Valuation

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  • W. Michael Hanemann
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    Abstract

    Contingent valuation is now used around the world to value many types of public goods, including transportation, sanitation, health, and education, as well as the environment. The author describes how researchers go about making such surveys reliable, mentioning recent innovations in sampling, questionnaire design, and data analysis, including formulating the valuation as a closed-ended question about voting in a referendum to raise taxes for a particular purpose. He addresses various objections that contingent valuation results are incompatible with economic theory. Even without a market, there still exists a latent demand curve for nonmarket goods; contingent valuation represents a way to tease this out.

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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.8.4.19
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

    Volume (Year): 8 (1994)
    Issue (Month): 4 (Fall)
    Pages: 19-43

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    Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:8:y:1994:i:4:p:19-43

    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.8.4.19
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    1. Per-Olov Johansson, 1992. "Altruism in cost-benefit analysis," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(6), pages 605-613, November.
    2. Cutler, David M & Elmendorf, Douglas W & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1993. "Demographic Characteristics and the Public Bundle," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 48(Supplemen), pages 178-98.
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    5. Carson, R.T. & Mitchell, R.C. & Hanemann, W.M. & Kopp, R.J. & Presser, S. & Ruud, P.A., 1992. "A Contingent Valuation Study of Lost Passive Use Values Resulting From the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill," MPRA Paper 6984, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Richard T. Carson & Nicholas E. Flores & Kerry M. Martin & Jennifer L. Wright, 1996. "Contingent Valuation and Revealed Preference Methodologies: Comparing the Estimates for Quasi-Public Goods," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 72(1), pages 80-99.
    7. Clotfelter, Charles T., 1985. "Federal Tax Policy and Charitable Giving," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226110486.
    8. Helen R. Neill & Ronald G. Cummings & Philip T. Ganderton & Glenn W. Harrison & Thomas McGuckin, 1994. "Hypothetical Surveys and Real Economic Commitments," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 70(2), pages 145-154.
    9. Dickie, M. & Fisher, A. & Gerking, S.D., 1987. "Market transactions and hypothetical demand data: A comparative study," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-4628501, Tilburg University.
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    11. Alan Randall, 1994. "Difficulty with the Travel Cost Method," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 70(1), pages 88-96.
    12. Charles T. Clotfelter, 1985. "Federal Tax Policy and Charitable Giving," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number clot85-1.
    13. Smith, V. Kerry, 1992. "Arbitrary values, good causes, and premature verdicts," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 71-89, January.
    14. Seip, K. & Strand, J., 1990. "Willingness To Pay For Environmental Goods In Norway: A Contingent Valuation Study With Real Payment," Memorandum 12/1990, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    15. Juster, F Thomas & Stafford, Frank P, 1991. "The Allocation of Time: Empirical Findings, Behavioral Models, and Problems of Measurement," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(2), pages 471-522, June.
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    24. Brookshire, David S, et al, 1982. "Valuing Public Goods: A Comparison of Survey and Hedonic Approaches," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 165-77, March.
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    26. Bettman, James R & Zins, Michel A, 1977. " Constructive Processes in Consumer Choice," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(2), pages 75-85, Se.
    27. Barbara J. Kanninen, 1993. "Optimal Experimental Design for Double-Bounded Dichotomous Choice Contingent Valuation," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 69(2), pages 138-146.
    28. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
    29. Carson, Richard T. & Hanemann, W. Michael, 2006. "Contingent Valuation," Handbook of Environmental Economics, in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 17, pages 821-936 Elsevier.
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    1. > Environmental and Natural Resource Economics > Environmental Economics > Valuation > Contingent valuation method
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