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The Landscape of landscape values

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  • Holstein, Fredrik

Abstract

The overall aim of this thesis is to clarify relations between the value perspective of economics and other value perspectives and its significance for the interpretation of normative statements and of anomalies found in stated preference (SP) surveys. The thesis contains two papers. The main objective of the first paper is to analyse and clarify the conceptual relations between different value-related terms. It is concluded that economic values has a clear meaning whereas other terms, often used to describe, and to motivate the preservation of, pastoral landscapes, have unclear normative implications. The economic concept of values is, in a sense, complete. Once the perspective is adopted it embraces, conceptually, all values of the pastoral landscape. With a specific interpretation of e.g. biological values these are conceptually included in the economic values. Other interpretations of biological values imply, on the other hand, perspectives of values that make economic values redundant. In the second paper the value perspective of economics is accepted as a normative assumption for economic analyses. Instead, the theoretical analysis in the paper focuses on the possible diverging value perspectives among respondents in SP-surveys. The aim of the paper is to suggest a framework for interpretation of people’s value expressions and to analyse if this framework can explain some of the anomalies found in stated preference surveys. It is suggested that people may hold values that can be interpreted as opinions about how initial rights should be distributed and that such opinions cannot be interpreted as ordinary preferences. If a stated preference survey implies a right that is incompatible with the right asserted by a respondent this may very well hinder the formation and expression of preferences. It is concluded that this incompatibility between implied and asserted rights, in many cases, can explain anomalies. This conclusion emphasizes e.g. the importance of the choice between WTP- and WTA-measures in stated preference surveys.

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  • Holstein, Fredrik, 2006. "The Landscape of landscape values," Department of Economics publications 1100, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sua:ekonwp:1100
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