What is the Value of Rangitoto Island?
Contingent Valuation has been promoted as a catch-all approach to environmental valuation. While there have been numerous attempts in recent years to place monetary values on environmental amenities, studies have often reported a high frequency of protest, zero or inordinately large dollar-value responses. This paper reports on the results of a survey designed to obtain information on how people actually interpret questions of paying to avoid changes in their views of Rangitoto Island. Evidence suggests that the meaning respondents attach to the actual dollar values they offer or bid are inconsistent with the conventional logic that underlies Contingent Valuation. Instead, respondents might be seen to be expressing views about how things ought to be in society, and that it is simply not right to develop Rangitoto Island.
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