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Policy support tool

Stated Preference Valuation

Stated preference valuation is a family of techniques which use individual respondents' statements about their preferences to estimate change in utility associated with a proposed increase in quality or quantity of an ecosystem service or bundle of services. Respondents are presented with one or more hypothetical policy or project scenarios that lead to a specified environmental change compared to a baseline situation. The answers respondents give, in the form of monetary amounts, ratings, or other indications of preference, are scaled following an appropriate model of preferences to yield a measure of value of the proposed ecosystem service change. This value is often monetary expressed as peoples willingness to pay. Stated preferences are often elicited through surveys (typically web, phone, mail or in-person) that use questionnaires following strict guidelines.

Requirements for using the resource NEW
  • Requires new valuation data, e.g. based on surveys
  • Advanced software knowledge required
  • Requires working with multidisciplinary researchers and stakeholders
  • Licensed software packages and ability to manipulate software required​
Potential benefits from using the resource
Recognised and established approach within environmental economics
Covers a wide range of ecosystem services, use, and non-use values.
Trade-offs between ecosystem services and a few other context characteristics can be evaluated using choice experiments
Highly flexible in terms of defining management and policy scenarios
Potential limitations from using the resource
Information problems - making it clear which individual or combinations of ecosystems services are included in valuation scenarios
Respondents may hold norms and moral commitment to their environment that they are not willing to trade against prices in monetary exchange
Rational choice assumptions and biases - there are a range of potential biases in people's willingness to pay, e.g. their context or role, the prices stated, the order in which parts of ecosystems are valued etc.
Scale of application
UN languages in which the resource is available
Development stage
Full, working product
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