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