ARCHIVE: Protocol for practitioners reporting primary valuation studies
2. Define the study good
- What is the good?
- Where is the good?
- Individuals tend to care more about the goods that are near them or the goods they use more often (distance to the good is typically a proxy for use).
- Related to the above, as the distance between the individual’s residence and the good increase, the abundance of possible substitutes for the good increases, as does the costs of use in terms of travel time and cost. The definition of the location of the good, therefore, should include information on likely substitutes for the study good.
- The availability of complements may also influence values and hence should be defined, where relevant.
- What uses are made of it?
- Is it likely to have non-use values associated with it, if so why?
- What are the ‘baseline’ conditions?
The definition should describe the good (this could be a non-market or market good or resource) and, where possible and relevant (e.g. when affected), the individual ecosystem services provided by the resource. The use of ecosystem services approach as a framework to define the study (and policy) good is increasing and new primary valuation studies should use this approach where appropriate.
Empirical evidence indicates that the location of the good affects its value for various reasons. For example:
Direct and indirect uses of the good should be defined (even if not all are valued in a given study). The ecosystem services approach is particularly useful in identifying indirect uses of a good.
There are no ‘rules’ as to which goods are likely to attract non-use values. A description of the uniqueness or importance of the good can help the value transfer analyst to make this judgement. Importance or uniqueness could be at a local, national or international level. Even if non-use values (or the values held by non-users) are not estimated by the study, a discussion about them should be included.
The baseline should be defined as the state of the study good without the change valued. Changes in the provision of the good (see below) should be over and above this baseline. Where possible, the baseline should be defined both in terms of environmental and economic conditions of the provision of the study good.
Page last modified: 25 February 2010
Page published: 25 February 2010