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The measurement and decomposition of nonuse values: A critical review

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  • Ronald Cummings

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  • Glenn Harrison

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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

Suggested Citation

  • Ronald Cummings & Glenn Harrison, 1995. "The measurement and decomposition of nonuse values: A critical review," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(3), pages 225-247, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:5:y:1995:i:3:p:225-247
    DOI: 10.1007/BF00691518
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Herriges, Joseph A. & Kling, Catherine L. & Phaneuf, Daniel J., 2004. "What's the use? welfare estimates from revealed preference models when weak complementarity does not hold," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 55-70, January.
    3. Kontogianni, A. & Tourkolias, C. & Machleras, A. & Skourtos, M., 2012. "Service providing units, existence values and the valuation of endangered species: A methodological test," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 97-104.
    4. G. 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.
    5. Richard T. Carson, 2011. "Contingent Valuation," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 2489.
    6. Alejandro Guevara & Juan Manuel Torres, 2014. "Bequest motive for conservation in timber production communities," Working Papers 0614, Universidad Iberoamericana, Department of Economics.
    7. 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.
    8. Luís Cruz & Paula Simões & Eduardo Barata, 2014. "Combining Observed and Contingent Travel Behaviour: The Best of Both Worlds?," Notas Económicas, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra, issue 40, pages 7-25, December.
    9. Camille Bann, 2016. "The Economic Valuation of Mangroves: A Manual for Researchers," EEPSEA Research Report rr2016032, Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA), revised Mar 2016.
    10. Richard T. Carson & Miko_aj Czajkowski, 2014. "The discrete choice experiment approach to environmental contingent valuation," Chapters,in: Handbook of Choice Modelling, chapter 9, pages 202-235 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    11. Tanya O’Garra, 2009. "Bequest Values for Marine Resources: How Important for Indigenous Communities in Less-Developed Economies?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 44(2), pages 179-202, October.
    12. 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.
    13. Olof Johansson-Stenman, 1998. "The Importance of Ethics in Environmental Economics with a Focus on Existence Values," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(3), pages 429-442, April.
    14. 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, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 12(4), pages 457-478, December.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    17. Halkos, George & Matsiori, Steriani, 2017. "Estimating recreational values of coastal zones," MPRA Paper 80911, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. 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.
    19. Crowards, Tom M., 1998. "Safe Minimum Standards: costs and opportunities," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 303-314, June.
    20. Tore Söderqvist, 1998. "Why Give up Money for the Baltic Sea? – Motives for People's Willingness (or Reluctance) to Pay," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 12(2), pages 249-254, September.

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