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Environmental Valuation in Developed Countries

Case Studies

Edited by David Pearce

This is the second of two volumes of case studies that illustrate how environmental economists place values on environmental assets and on the flows of goods and services generated by those assets. This important book assembles studies that discuss broad areas of application of economic valuation – from amenity and pollution through to water and health risks, from forestry to green urban space. In this, his last book, the late David Pearce brought together leading European experts, contributors to some two dozen case studies exploring the frontiers of economic valuation of natural resources and environmental amenity in the developed world.
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Chapter 11: Using Choice Experiments to Value Urban Green Space

Craig Bullock


Craig Bullock INTRODUCTION Estimates of the value of environmental goods help to ensure that these are properly taken into account once they are compared with costs in a cost–benefit analysis. This in turn improves the prospects of decision-makers paying more attention to environmental impacts when new policies or projects are implemented. Much has been written on the relative theoretical merits of alternative valuation techniques. Typically, researchers have provided examples of applications that demonstrate the relevant author’s assertion of the appropriateness of the method or of a particular approach. However, sufficient consideration is not always given to the ultimate use to which such values are put. Some methods of environmental valuation expose their limitations where decision-makers require information on a variety of project scenarios, rather than just a single strategy or outcome. For instance, it is cumbersome to include a variety of different scenarios within a contingent valuation study. Environmental valuation requires that survey respondents are given as much of the full context of information as possible before they are asked to express a willingness to pay. While frequently argued in theory, in practice this is difficult to achieve in a questionnaire-based survey. There is a risk that the information provided will be insufficient and will contribute to any other of the numerous potential biases that the diligent researcher is desperately attempting to avoid. Where respondents are asked to consider various scenarios, the risk of information overload is increased. As an alternative, the researcher could prepare...

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