Valuing Environmental Preferences: Theory and Practice of the Contingent Valuation Method in the US, EU, and Developing Countries


The book focuses on one particular set of techniques for valuing the environment, namely the questionnaire-based Contingent Valuation Method (CVM), which asks what people would be willing to pay for an environmental good or attribute, or willing to accept for its loss. Though competing methods of environmental valuation exist, CVM is currently central to the assessment of environmental damage and has been the subject of considerable debate. Contingent valuation evolved as a method to quantify the benefits of non-marketed environmental goods and attributes so that they could be entered directly in benefit This volume has been written at a time of heated debate over the CV method. It contains specially written papers from both sides of that debate, as well as from commentators who see it as an interesting experimental tool regardless of the question of absolute validity of estimates. The book embraces the theoretical, methodological, empirical, and institutional aspects of the current debate. It covers US, European, and developing country applications, and the institutional frameworks within which CVM studies are applied. Questionnaries are reprinted in the case study chapters where appropriate, to allow evaluation of the questionnaire and to complete the illustration of the methodological issues.

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • Virginia Abiad
  • Wiktor Adamowicz
  • Ian Bateman
  • John Bergstrom
  • François Bonnieux
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 1999


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