Policy context as a factor of bias in the valuation of environmental goods – a dual-process theories perspective
When ecosystem services value estimates are applied in the economic assessment of environmental policies, high accuracy of these estimates is required. One of the directions in the scientific discussion on biases in stated preference (SP) valuation surveys builds on dual-process theories of judgment. The paper contributes to this literature by presenting an experiment where two types of judgment were induced via separate versus joint valuation of environmental goods. The results demonstrated that policy relevance of environmental issues, e.g. the need for conservation measures increases emotional response, causing a larger bias in the separate design as it involves ‘valuation by feeling.’ This finding suggests that the context of a specific policy, which is often the reason for conducting SP surveys, influences the answers, thereby making the results less reliable for use in cost–benefit analysis.
This is the submitted manuscript version of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Environmental Planning and Management on 13 March 2018, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09640568.2018.1441813.