A European Perspective
New Horizons in Environmental Economics series
Edited by Ekin Birol and Phoebe Koundouri
Chapter 9: Value Inference Using Contingent Valuation and Choice Experiments in the Spanish Forests
9. Value inference using contingent valuation and choice experiments in Spanish forests Pere Riera, Joan Mogas and Jeﬀ Bennett INTRODUCTION Forest ecosystems generate a wide variety of goods and services not only for the forest owners, but for society at large. They provide a number of public goods, like enjoyment from recreational opportunities, nontimber products (for example, mushrooms, berries, aromatic herbs), carbon sequestration, erosion prevention and biodiversity preservation, among others. In order to make sound decisions for the whole society, forest planning and management ought to take into account the value of forests for both the landowner and the other aﬀected persons. The ﬁeld of economics helps in this process by being able to estimate the value, in monetary units, of the forest at stake. While the value for the owner – or private value – is expressed in terms of market prices, tools to estimate the forest value to the whole society – often called social value or total economic value – have been developed in the last few decades. The most commonly used non-market valuation technique is the contingent valuation method (CVM), with other stated preference methods, like choice experiments (CE), becoming more popular in recent years. Non-market methods are time-consuming and relatively expensive to undertake, especially if they are to be applied to a large number of forests. A consequence of high cost is a reduction in the likelihood of undertaking such valuation studies. To some extent, this has been mitigated in areas like transportation or health by ‘borrowing’ or...
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