How Precise Are Monetary Representations of Environmental Improvements?
Subjects valued environmental goods using a response mode expressing willingness to pay as a multiplier or divider of a purported "budgetary unit." Hypothetical willingness to pay was found to be highly dependent on the size of the budgetary unit. Rejecting two other interpretations, we believe the results suggest that people's contingent values are only vaguely represented in monetary terms; any dollar amount within a broad range is considered an acceptable expression of value. Although the procedures differ from those of a typical contingent valuation survey, the results demonstrate some of the difficulties in discovering precise monetary values for environmental resources.