Ten years ago only a handful of very rudimentary contingent valuation (CV) studies had been conducted in developing countries; at that time the problems associated with posing hypothetical questions to low-income, perhaps illiterate respondents were assumed to be so overwhelming that one should not even try. Today it is now assumed by many environmental and resource economists and policy analysts working in developing countries that contingent valuation surveys are straightforward and easy to do. This paper examines some of the issues that have arisen and some of the lessons learned over the last 10 years about administering contingent valuation surveys in developing countries. The paper focuses on five issues in particular. 1. (a) explaining to enumerators what a contingent valuation study is all about; 2. (b) interpreting responses to contingent valuation questions; 3. (c) setting referendum prices; 4. (d) constructing joint public-private CV scenarios; 5. (e) ethical problems in conducting such surveys. It is argued that there are numerous issues that arise in contingent valuation work in developing countries that demand careful attention, but that in many respects it is easier to do high-quality contingent valuation surveys in developing countries than in industrialized countries.
World Development – Elsevier
Published: Jan 1, 1998
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