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The measurement and decomposition of nonuse values: A critical review

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  • Ronald Cummings

    ()

  • Glenn Harrison

    ()

Abstract

We critically review the literature that claims that existence values, or nonuse values in general, are a large and measurable component of total value for certain environmental resources. Our concern is not with the question “do nonuse values exist?” For some individuals they surely do. Rather, our concern is with two interrelated questions: are there operationally meaningful theorems which might lead to the specific measurement of nonuse values, and do we in fact have a body of credible evidence which shows that nonuse values, particularly components of any nonuse value, are “large”? We find nothing in the way of operationally meaningful hypotheses which would permit the estimation of values attributable to specific motives of individuals. We find no credible basis for claims related to either the measurement of existence and other motive-related values or claims for the “large” relative size of such values. In short, we question the conventional wisdom that such values are measurable and that they are significant as a component of total value. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental & Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 5 (1995)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
Pages: 225-247

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Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:5:y:1995:i:3:p:225-247

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100263

Related research

Keywords: Nonuse value; use value; existence value; contingent valuation;

References

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  1. Graham, Daniel A, 1981. "Cost-Benefit Analysis under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 715-25, September.
  2. Cummings, Ronald G & Harrison, Glenn W & Rutstrom, E Elisabet, 1995. "Homegrown Values and Hypothetical Surveys: Is the Dichotomous Choice Approach Incentive-Compatible?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 260-66, March.
  3. Richard C. Bishop, 1982. "Option Value: An Exposition and Extension," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 58(1), pages 1-15.
  4. Ronald J. Sutherland & Richard G. Walsh, 1985. "Effect of Distance on the Preservation Value of Water Quality," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 64(3), pages 281-291.
  5. Douglas M. Larson, 1993. "On Measuring Existence Value," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 69(4), pages 377-388.
  6. Bradford, David F. & Hildebrandt, Gregory G., 1977. "Observable preferences for public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 111-131, October.
  7. Neill, Jon R., 1988. "Another theorem on using market demands to determine willingness to pay for non-traded goods," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 224-232, June.
  8. Cook, Philip J & Graham, Daniel A, 1977. "The Demand for Insurance and Protection: The Case of Irreplaceable Commodities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 143-56, February.
  9. Larson, Douglas M., 1992. "Further results on willingness to pay for nonmarket goods," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 101-122, September.
  10. Greenley, Douglas A & Walsh, Richard G & Young, Robert A, 1981. "Option Value: Empirical Evidence from a Case Study of Recreation and Water Quality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 96(4), pages 657-73, November.
  11. Mitchell, Robert Cameron & Carson, Richard T, 1985. "Option Value: Empirical Evidence from a Case Study of Recreation and Water Quality: Comment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(1), pages 291-94, February.
  12. Smith, V. Kerry, 1987. "Uncertainty, benefit-cost analysis, and the treatment of option value," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 283-292, September.
  13. Karl C. Samples & John A. Dixon & KMarcia M. Gowen, 1986. "Information Disclosure and Endangered Species Valuation," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 62(3), pages 306-312.
  14. David S. Brookshire & Larry S. Eubanks & Alan Randall, 1983. "Estimating Option Prices and Existence Values for Wildlife Resources," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 59(1), pages 1-15.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Veisten, Knut, 2007. "Contingent valuation controversies: Philosophic debates about economic theory," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 204-232, April.
  2. Marjainé, Szerényi Zsuzsanna, 2001. "A természeti erőforrások pénzbeli értékelése
    [Monetary valuation of natural resources]
    ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(2), pages 114-129.
  3. 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.
  4. Carson, Richard T. & Hanemann, W. Michael & Kopp, Raymond J. & Krosnick, Jon A. & Mitchell, Robert C. & Presser, Stanley & Ruud, Paul A. & Smith, V. Kerry, 1996. "Was the NOAA Panel Correct about Contingent Valuation?," Working Papers 96-21, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  5. Tanya O’Garra, 2009. "Bequest Values for Marine Resources: How Important for Indigenous Communities in Less-Developed Economies?," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 44(2), pages 179-202, October.
  6. Cooper, Philip & Poe, Gregory L. & Bateman, Ian J., 2004. "The structure of motivation for contingent values: a case study of lake water quality improvement," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1-2), pages 69-82, September.
  7. Olof Johansson-Stenman, 1998. "The Importance of Ethics in Environmental Economics with a Focus on Existence Values," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(3), pages 429-442, April.
  8. Tore Söderqvist, 1998. "Why Give up Money for the Baltic Sea? – Motives for People's Willingness (or Reluctance) to Pay," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 12(2), pages 249-254, September.
  9. repec:ner:ucllon:http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/1317651/ is not listed on IDEAS
  10. GB. Concu, 2004. "Effects of distance on non-use values," Working Paper CRENoS 200411, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  11. M. Shechter & B. Reiser & N. Zaitsev, 1998. "Measuring Passive Use Value: Pledges, Donations and CV Responses in Connection with an Important Natural Resource," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 12(4), pages 457-478, December.
  12. Crowards, Tom M., 1998. "Safe Minimum Standards: costs and opportunities," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 303-314, June.
  13. Hein, Lars & van Koppen, Kris & de Groot, Rudolf S. & van Ierland, Ekko C., 2006. "Spatial scales, stakeholders and the valuation of ecosystem services," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 209-228, May.
  14. Munro, Alistair, 2007. "When is some number really better than no number? On the optimal choice between non-market valuation methods," MPRA Paper 8978, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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