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Economic Valuation of the Environment: How Citizens Make Sense of Contingent Valuation Questions

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  • Henrik Svedsäter

Abstract

This study adopts a qualitative approach in order to investigate how people make sense of contingent valuation (CV) questions of a global environmental amenity. The objective is not only to capture people’ s motivations and considerations of willingness to pay (WTP), but also to determine if they adequately comprehend an economic valuation of such public goods. The findings indicate that a large proportion of respondents do not interpret the valuation task, as intended. However, this lack of understanding is not always expressed, unless probed in relation to the elicitation question, and some people have the tendency to provide monetary estimates anyway, whatever meaning they attach to these.

Suggested Citation

  • Henrik Svedsäter, 2003. "Economic Valuation of the Environment: How Citizens Make Sense of Contingent Valuation Questions," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 79(1), pages 122-135.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:79:y:2003:i:1:p:122-135
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kahneman, Daniel & Ritov, Ilana & Schkade, David A, 1999. "Economic Preferences or Attitude Expressions?: An Analysis of Dollar Responses to Public Issues," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 203-235, December.
    2. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L., 1992. "Valuing public goods: The purchase of moral satisfaction," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 57-70, January.
    3. Blamey, Russell K., 1998. "Decisiveness, attitude expression and symbolic responses in contingent valuation surveys," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 577-601, March.
    4. Roy Brouwer & Neil Powe & R. Kerry Turner & Ian J. Bateman & Ian H. Langford, 1999. "Public Attitudes to Contingent Valuation and Public Consultation," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 8(3), pages 325-347, August.
    5. Clark, Judy & Burgess, Jacquelin & Harrison, Carolyn M., 2000. ""I struggled with this money business": respondents' perspectives on contingent valuation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 45-62, April.
    6. Hanemann, W Michael, 1991. "Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Accept: How Much Can They Differ?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 635-647, June.
    7. Fischhoff, Baruch & Welch, Ned & Fredrick, Shane, 1999. "Construal Processes in Preference Assessment," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 139-164, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Andrew Mill, Greig & van Rensburg, Tom M. & Hynes, Stephen & Dooley, Conor, 2007. "Preferences for multiple use forest management in Ireland: Citizen and consumer perpectives," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 642-653, January.
    2. Fischer, Anke & Hanley, Nick, 2007. "Analysing decision behaviour in stated preference surveys: A consumer psychological approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2-3), pages 303-314, March.
    3. Borghi, Josephine & Shrestha, Daya L. & Shrestha, Deepa & Jan, Stephen, 2007. "Using focus groups to develop contingent valuation scenarios--A case study of women's groups in rural Nepal," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 531-542, February.
    4. Martha A. Starr, 2014. "Qualitative And Mixed-Methods Research In Economics: Surprising Growth, Promising Future," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(2), pages 238-264, April.
    5. Ali DOUAI (GREThA UMR CNRS 5113) & Matthieu MONTALBAN (GREThA UMR CNRS 5113), 2009. "Institutions and the environment: the case for a historical political economy," Cahiers du GREThA 2009-12, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
    6. Clive L. Spash, 2006. "Non-Economic Motivation for Contingent Values: Rights and Attitudinal Beliefs in the Willingness To Pay for Environmental Improvements," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 82(4), pages 602-622.
    7. Ivo Bischoff, 2008. "Endowment effect theory, prediction bias and publicly provided goods: an experimental study," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 39(3), pages 283-296, March.
    8. Ali Douai, 2009. "Value Theory in Ecological Economics: The Contribution of a Political Economy of Wealth," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 18(3), pages 257-284, August.
    9. Tisdell, Clement A. & Wilson, Clevo & Swarna Nantha, Hemanath, 2005. "Dynamic Processes in the Contingent Valuation of an Endangered Mammal Species," Economics, Ecology and Environment Working Papers 55064, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    10. Peter Howley & Stephen Hynes & Cathal O’Donoghue, 2009. "The citizen versus consumer hypothesis: Do welfare estimates differ?," Working Papers 0911, Rural Economy and Development Programme,Teagasc.
    11. Ahlheim, Michael & Fror, Oliver, 2003. "Valuing the non-market production of agriculture," German Journal of Agricultural Economics, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, Department for Agricultural Economics, vol. 52(8).
    12. Jonathan Aldred, 2006. "Incommensurability and Monetary Valuation," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 82(2), pages 141-161.
    13. Thomas Dietz & Paul C. Stern & Amy Dan, 2009. "How Deliberation Affects Stated Willingness to Pay for Mitigation of Carbon Dioxide Emissions: An Experiment," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 85(2), pages 329-347.
    14. Gianluca Stefani & Riccardo Scarpa, 2007. "The Referendum Incentive Compatibility Hypothesis:Some New Results Using Information Messages," Working Papers in Economics 07/10, University of Waikato.
    15. Spash, Clive L. & Vatn, Arild, 2006. "Transferring environmental value estimates: Issues and alternatives," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 379-388, December.

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    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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