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The monetary value of marine environmental change
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Environmental Strategies Research (fms).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7840-9189
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The marine ecosystems are fundamental for human welfare. A number of current environmental pressures need attention, and the formulation of management strategies requires information from a variety of analytical dimensions. The linkage between environmental change and resulting implications for human welfare is one such dimension.

This thesis presents studies on welfare implications from hypothetical future policies which improve the state of the marine environment. The method for these studies is economic valuation. The studied scenarios concern eutrophication in the Baltic Sea (including the Kattegat) and oil spill risk from shipping in the Lofoten-Vesterålen area in the Arctic Barents Sea. The thesis shows that the economic benefits from undertaking policies to improve or protect the marine environment in these cases are substantial and exceed the costs of taking measures.

In addition to providing new monetary estimates, the thesis also provides new insights concerning 1) what type of scenario to use when valuing an environmental improvement and 2) whether there may exist trade-offs between precision in estimates and the level of ambition with respect to survey instrument complexity and econometric models when conducting valuation studies. The findings suggest an end of an era for studies in which the environmental change is unspecified or based on a single environmental indicator while the actual consequences of the suggested measures are more multifaceted. In contrast, relevant scenarios to study are well-specified and holistic. The thesis further reveals that it might not always be worth the effort to go for the most advanced scenario presentation or statistically best-fitting model specifications. This is something that needs to be further discussed among practitioners in order to allocate valuation resources wisely and not waste resources on unnecessarily elegant valuation studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. , 85 p.
Series
TRITA-INFRA-FMS-PHD, 2016:06
Keyword [en]
Contingent valuation, choice experiment, benefits transfer, cost-benefit analysis, ecosystem services, eutrophication, oil spills, Baltic Sea, Arctic
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Planning and Decision Analysis
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-193727ISBN: 978-91-7729-148-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-193727DiVA: diva2:1033960
Public defence
2016-11-08, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Sing-Sing, våningsplan 2, KTH Campus, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20161011

Available from: 2016-10-11 Created: 2016-10-10 Last updated: 2016-10-11Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Non-market valuation of the coastal environment - Uniting political aims, ecological and economic knowledge
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Non-market valuation of the coastal environment - Uniting political aims, ecological and economic knowledge
2012 (English)In: Journal of Environmental Management, ISSN 0301-4797, E-ISSN 1095-8630, Vol. 110, 166-178 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this paper, we examine the feasibility of using an approach for estimating Willingness-To-Pay for marine environmental improvements, based on a holistic, policy-determined scenario. Conducting valuation studies based on a policy-determined scenario is beneficial for decision-makers in terms of practical applicability but also for research in terms of e.g. data availability. Using a case study in two Swedish coastal areas, we examine whether respondents are able to understand and attach a monetary value to these types of scenarios. The tested scenarios are based on improving water quality according to the EU Water Framework Directive and reducing noise and littering according to standard-type measures in a Swedish archipelago setting. The results are promising, paving the ground for future valuation studies using this approach. However, there might be tradeoffs, since the use of scenarios like this require much preparation by researchers and much efforts by respondents. We recommend environmental managers to adopt this approach when possible, but to have these potential tradeoffs in mind. Mean monthly WTP per household for the water quality improvement scenario is estimated to 71 and 102 SEK1 in the two study areas, respectively. The corresponding numbers for the less noise and littering scenario are 38 and 46 SEK. Valuation of noise and littering in archipelago areas has previously not been very common, making these estimates especially important for marine policy.

Keyword
Contingent valuation, IOE, Holistic, Water quality, Noise, Littering
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-104688 (URN)10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.06.012 (DOI)000309486700018 ()2-s2.0-84863666105 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20121109

Available from: 2012-11-09 Created: 2012-11-09 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
2. Benefit Transfer for Environmental Improvements in Coastal Areas: General versus Best-Fitting Models
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Benefit Transfer for Environmental Improvements in Coastal Areas: General versus Best-Fitting Models
2013 (English)In: Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics-Revue Canadienne D'Agroeconomie, ISSN 0008-3976, E-ISSN 1744-7976, Vol. 61, no 2, 239-258 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Recognizing the important policy task of securing the benefits from marine coastal waters subject to time and funding constraints has increased interest in benefit transfer (BT). However, many of the advances in BT recommended by researchers would be too costly to implement. This paper presents two choice experiment (CE) studies on marine areas in Sweden where respondents from local and distant populations were surveyed. BT for attributes relevant to the European Union's Water Framework Directive and the implementation of special consideration zones in marine areas were evaluated by equivalence tests. A comparison of the performance between a general BT model including only easily available socio-economic information and a statistically best-fitting model that requires the collection of more detailed information shows very similar results. Using a general model saves money and time since the information needed can be easily obtained from public databases and it does not lead to any significant reductions in accuracy or reliability. The issue of including socio-economic information in CE modeling for BT is important, since the model specification will determine the type of information that must be collected at the policy site; however, the results are inconclusive as to whether it improves BT or not. La reconnaissance de l'importante tache politique visant a proteger les avantages tires des eaux marines cotieres, exposee a des contraintes de temps et de financement, suscite un interet accru pour le transfert d'avantages (TA). Toutefois, la mise en OEuvre d'un bon nombre des percees en matiere de TA recommandees par les chercheurs serait trop couteuse. Dans le present article, nous presentons deux etudes sur des zones marines de la Suede realisees selon la methode des choix multi-attributs et auxquelles ont participe des repondants provenant de populations locales et eloignees. Le TA dans le cas d'attributs figurant dans la Directive-cadre sur l'eau de l'Union europeenne et la determination de zones necessitant une prise en compte particuliere au sein des zones marines ont ete evalues a l'aide de tests d'equivalence. Une comparaison de la performance du modele de TA << general >>, qui comprend uniquement des donnees socio-economiques facilement obtenables, et de celle du modele de TA << optimal >>, qui comprend une collecte de donnees detaillees, montre des resultats tres similaires. L'utilisation du modele general permet d'economiser du temps et de l'argent puisque l'information requise est facilement accessible dans les bases de donnees publiques, sans diminution significative de la precision ou de la fiabilite. La question d'inclure des donnees socio-economiques dans le modele de choix multi-attributs pour le TA est importante puisque que la specification du modele determinera le type de donnees qu'il faut collecter sur l'endroit vise par la politique. Toutefois, les resultats ne permettent pas d'indiquer si le TA est ameliore ou non.

National Category
Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-124281 (URN)10.1111/cjag.12010 (DOI)000319346900006 ()2-s2.0-84878187128 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Environmental Protection Agency
Note

QC 20130702

Available from: 2013-07-02 Created: 2013-06-28 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
3. Detailed vs. fuzzy information in non-market valuation studies: the role of familiarity
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Detailed vs. fuzzy information in non-market valuation studies: the role of familiarity
2013 (English)In: Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, ISSN 0964-0568, E-ISSN 1360-0559, Vol. 57, no 1, 123-143 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We apply a split-sample contingent valuation survey to test whether the level of ecological information affects the willingness to pay (WTP) and valuation uncertainty for improved water quality. For respondents who are unfamiliar with water quality problems, the WTP is significantly different between the sample that received detailed ecological information and the sample that received fuzzy information. This study also provides new empirical evidence for the counterfactual; in a situation with high familiarity, more information does not affect mean WTP. The main recommendation to future valuation practice is to provide detailed ecological information in the case when many respondents are unfamiliar with the good. The level of information did not influence valuation uncertainty.

Keyword
contingent valuation, information, policy, water quality, water framework directive, valuation uncertainty
National Category
Ecology Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-138390 (URN)10.1080/09640568.2012.736370 (DOI)000327236300006 ()2-s2.0-84889086405 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20131220

Available from: 2013-12-20 Created: 2013-12-19 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
4. Public preferences regarding use and condition of the Baltic Sea: An international comparison informing marine policy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Public preferences regarding use and condition of the Baltic Sea: An international comparison informing marine policy
Show others...
2013 (English)In: Marine Policy, ISSN 0308-597X, E-ISSN 1872-9460, no 42, 20-30 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2013
National Category
Other Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-193896 (URN)10.1016/j.marpol.2013.01.011 (DOI)000320686100004 ()2-s2.0-84874565274 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20161011

Available from: 2016-10-11 Created: 2016-10-11 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved
5. Benefits of meeting nutrient reduction targets for the Baltic Sea: a contingent valuation study in the nine coastal states
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Benefits of meeting nutrient reduction targets for the Baltic Sea: a contingent valuation study in the nine coastal states
Show others...
2014 (English)In: Journal of Environmental Economics and Policy, ISSN 2160-6544, E-ISSN 2160-6552, Vol. 3, no 3, 278-305 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2014
National Category
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-193899 (URN)10.1080/21606544.2014.901923 (DOI)
Note

QC 20161011

Available from: 2016-10-11 Created: 2016-10-11 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved
6. Baltic Sea nutrient reductions: What should we aim for?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Baltic Sea nutrient reductions: What should we aim for?
Show others...
2014 (English)In: Journal of Environmental Management, ISSN 0301-4797, E-ISSN 1095-8630, Vol. 145, 9-23 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Nutrient load reductions are needed to improve the state of the Baltic Sea, but it is still under debate how they should be implemented. In this paper, we use data from an environmental valuation study conducted in all nine Baltic Sea states to investigate public preferences of relevance to three of the involved decision-dimensions: First, the roles of nitrogen versus phosphorus reductions causing different eutrophication effects; second, the role of time – the lag between actions to reduce nutrient loads and perceived improvements; and third; the spatial dimension and the roles of actions targeting the coastal and open sea environment and different sub-basins. Our findings indicate that respondents view and value the Baltic Sea environment as a whole, and are not focussed only on their local sea area, or a particular aspect of water quality. We argue that public preferences concerning these three perspectives should be one of the factors guiding marine policy. This requires considering the entire range of eutrophication effects, in coastal and open sea areas, and including long-term and short-term measures.

Keyword
marine policy, contingent valuation, the Baltic Sea, euthropication, preferences
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-154213 (URN)10.1016/j.jenvman.2014.05.016 (DOI)000342256100002 ()2-s2.0-84903466683 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 215-2009-813Swedish Environmental Protection Agency
Note

QC 20141028

Available from: 2014-10-15 Created: 2014-10-15 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
7. Valuation of oil spill risk reductions in the Arctic:
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Valuation of oil spill risk reductions in the Arctic:
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2016 (English)In: Journal of Environmental Economics and Policy, ISSN 2160-6544, E-ISSN 2160-6552, Vol. 5, no 3, 298-317 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2016
National Category
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-193900 (URN)10.1080/21606544.2016.1155499 (DOI)
Note

QC 20161011

Available from: 2016-10-11 Created: 2016-10-11 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved
8. Costs and benefits associated with Arctic marine oil spill prevention
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Costs and benefits associated with Arctic marine oil spill prevention
Show others...
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-156036 (URN)
Note

QS 2014

Available from: 2014-11-18 Created: 2014-11-18 Last updated: 2016-10-11Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
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  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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