Table of Contents

Valuing the Environment in Developing Countries

Valuing the Environment in Developing Countries

Case Studies

Edited by David Pearce, Corin Pearce and Charles Palmer

In this book, the first of two volumes, the authors provide detailed case studies of valuation techniques that have been used in developing countries. They demonstrate that valuation works and that it can yield significant insights into policy-relevant issues regarding conservation and economic development. The authors address a whole range of environmental issues under the broad themes of water and air quality, biological diversity and forest functions. The economic approaches covered include contingent valuation, hedonic property prices, travel cost methodologies and benefits transfer.

Chapter 4: Valuing improvements to sanitation in Malaysia

Susana Mourato

Subjects: development studies, development economics, economics and finance, development economics, environmental economics, valuation, environment, environmental economics, valuation

Extract

Susana Mourato This chapter reports on the results of an economic valuation study to assess household demand for improved drinking water and sanitation systems in Malacca, carried out as part of DANCED/EPU’s Institutional Strengthening and Capacity Building project. 1 INTRODUCTION Billions of dollars are invested every year in water and sanitation projects in urban and rural areas of developing countries. However, only rarely are these investments subjected to a serious economic analysis. The traditional focus of water and sanitation planning has been largely based on supplyside considerations such as estimating the costs of constructing and operating the proposed systems. For many decades, little attention was given to consumer demand for improved services, that is, for benefit estimation. There are several reasons why demand-led assessment was absent in the policy and planning process. Sometimes, it was simply assumed that people would want to connect to and/or use new sanitation systems at whatever price charged. At other times, it was assumed that public benefits of the system were so great that it would be heavily subsidized. In cases where there was some consideration for demand, the procedure was simply to compare the proposed fees to some fixed financial requirement: for example, for sanitation, it was commonly assumed that, if monthly charges did not exceed 3 per cent of income, consumers would choose to pay for the new system. However, non-rigorous procedures for assessing benefits have usually proved incorrect, with a consequent exaggeration of economic returns. Erroneous choices of service...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information