Introduction and Overview
A brief introduction to the background of the contingent valuation (CV) method is given, followed by an outline of the structure of the book, and an account of the context and content of each of the 17 following chapters. Part I of the book (Chs. 2–6) considers the conceptual theoretical context and underpinnings of CV – an area where in many respects the most fundamental disagreements of the CV debate originate. Part II (Chs. 7–13) explores detailed questions on the methodological application of CV, and Part III (Chs. 14–16) extends this investigation by looking at some special topics in CV through case studies. Finally, Part IV (Chs. 17–18) considers the institutional dimension of CV use in both the USA and the European Union (EU), within which CV is adopted as a practical tool to inform choices in the public sector about resource allocation in the environment field. It is stressed that the book is not a manual of how to apply the CV method; rather, it attempts to present the state of the art in CV, pointing readers in the right direction and helping them to avoid many of the pitfalls in CV of which novices, and some experts, may be unaware.
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