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The measurement and decomposition of nonuse values: A critical review

  • Ronald Cummings

    ()

  • Glenn Harrison

    ()

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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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/BF00691518
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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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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Richard C. Bishop, 1982. "Option Value: An Exposition and Extension," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 58(1), pages 1-15.
  9. 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.
  10. Graham, Daniel A, 1981. "Cost-Benefit Analysis under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 715-25, September.
  11. 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.
  12. Douglas M. Larson, 1993. "On Measuring Existence Value," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 69(4), pages 377-388.
  13. Bradford, David F. & Hildebrandt, Gregory G., 1977. "Observable preferences for public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 111-131, October.
  14. 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.
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