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Environmental Values

Contingent Valuation: Comparing Participant Performance in Group-Based Approaches and Personal Interviews

Nele Lienhoop and Douglas C. MacMillan

Environmental Values 16(2007): 209-232. doi: 10.3197/096327107780474500


This paper reports a Contingent Valuation application to estimate the non-market costs and benefits of hydro scheme developments in an Icelandic wilderness area. A deliberative group-based approach, called Market Stall, is compared to a control group consisting of conventional in-person interviews, in order to investigate flaws of Contingent Valuation, such as poor validity and protest responses. Perceived property rights suggested the use of willingness-to-accept in compensation for wilderness loss and willingness-to-pay for hydro scheme benefits. The study is novel as it applies participant behaviour observation to gain insights into the shortcomings of conventional data collection modes. Main drawbacks with in-person interviews were found to be low motivation, standardised information and time pressure which hindered individuals from carefully considering their preferences. Market Stall performed better in the study: welfare estimates were more easily explained by socio-economic variables, the non-response rate was lower, and respondents were more engaged. Our research findings also suggest that participant behaviour can be used to supplement conventional validity tests.

KEYWORDS: Contingent valuation, preference construction, Market Stall, wilderness, motivation

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Environmental Valuation: Some Problems of Wrong Questions and Misleading Answers. Jack L. Knetsch

Conceptions of Value in Environmental Decision-Making John O'Neill and Clive L. Spash

Democracy and Environmental Decision-Making. Klaus Peter Rippe and Peter Schaber

Ethical Motives and Charitable Contributions in Contingent Valuation: Empirical Evidence from Social Psychology and Economics Clive L. Spash

Realms of Value: Conflicting Natural Resource Values and Incommensurability. Sarah Fleisher Trainor

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial. Clive L. Spash

To Value Functions or Services? An Analysis of Ecosystem Valuation Approaches. Erik Ansink, Lars Heim and Knut Per Hasund

More or Less Pluralistic? A Typology of Remedial and Alternative Perspectives on the Monetary Valuation of the Environment.Alex Y. Lo

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