Selected Empirical Analyses
New Horizons in Environmental Economics series
Edited by Phoebe Koundouri
Chapter 9: Environmental resource information and the validity of non-use values: the case of remote mountain lakes
Ben Groom, Andreas Kontoleon and Timothy Swanson 1. INTRODUCTION The suitability and validity of using non-use values (NUVs) in environmental decision making has been the subject of continuing debate ever since Krutilla’s 1967 seminal paper which introduced the concept (though not the term) of NUVs into the mainstream of environmental economic theory and policy. Though the validity of NUVs has been debated on conceptual and philosophical grounds (see Kontoleon et al., 2001 for a survey), the bulk of the discussion has been preoccupied with issues of measurement. Since the commonly accepted method for measuring NUV is the contingent valuation method,1 the debate over measurement of NUVs understandably reverts to one over the validity of the estimates derived from such a method (Mitchell and Carson, 1989; Bateman and Willis, 1999).2 One of the main issues concerning the validity of NUV estimates from contingent valuation (CV) studies concerns the eﬀect and role of environmental resource information that is provided to respondents participating in the contingent market. Both the NOAA panel (Arrow et al., 1993) and CV practitioners have acknowledged the potential biases, framing eﬀects as well as the possible confusion, manipulation and inducement of CV survey responses that can result from providing inappropriate types and quantities of information. Moreover, it has been accepted that the problems of information provision are more likely to be augmented for environmental goods for which individuals have mainly non-use values, low levels of information and familiarity or low levels of relevance (Arrow et...
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