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A systematic review of the reliability and validity of discrete choice experiments in valuing non-market environmental goods

A systematic review of the reliability and validity of discrete choice experiments in valuing non-market environmental goods
A systematic review of the reliability and validity of discrete choice experiments in valuing non-market environmental goods
While discrete choice experiments (DCEs) are increasingly used in the field of environmental valuation, they remain controversial because of their hypothetical nature and the contested reliability and validity of their results. We systematically reviewed evidence on the validity and reliability of environmental DCEs from the past thirteen years (Jan 2003–February 2016). 107 articles met our inclusion criteria. These studies provide limited and mixed evidence of the reliability and validity of DCE. Valuation results were susceptible to small changes in survey design in 45% of outcomes reporting reliability measures. DCE results were generally consistent with those of other stated preference techniques (convergent validity), but hypothetical bias was common. Evidence supporting theoretical validity (consistency with assumptions of rational choice theory) was limited. In content validity tests, 2–90% of respondents protested against a feature of the survey, and a considerable proportion found DCEs to be incomprehensible or inconsequential (17–40% and 10–62% respectively). DCE remains useful for non-market valuation, but its results should be used with caution. Given the sparse and inconclusive evidence base, we recommend that tests of reliability and validity are more routinely integrated into DCE studies and suggest how this might be achieved.
0301-4797
1-12
Rakotonarivo, O. Sarobidy
58315949-17a4-42ad-8fac-50ddd099f1a3
Schaafsma, Marije
937ac629-0fa2-4a11-bdf7-c3688405467d
Hockley, Neal
4097d3d0-98a6-4275-8606-a8a770b72e48
Rakotonarivo, O. Sarobidy
58315949-17a4-42ad-8fac-50ddd099f1a3
Schaafsma, Marije
937ac629-0fa2-4a11-bdf7-c3688405467d
Hockley, Neal
4097d3d0-98a6-4275-8606-a8a770b72e48

Rakotonarivo, O. Sarobidy, Schaafsma, Marije and Hockley, Neal (2016) A systematic review of the reliability and validity of discrete choice experiments in valuing non-market environmental goods. Journal of Environmental Management, 1-12. (doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.08.032).

Record type: Article

Abstract

While discrete choice experiments (DCEs) are increasingly used in the field of environmental valuation, they remain controversial because of their hypothetical nature and the contested reliability and validity of their results. We systematically reviewed evidence on the validity and reliability of environmental DCEs from the past thirteen years (Jan 2003–February 2016). 107 articles met our inclusion criteria. These studies provide limited and mixed evidence of the reliability and validity of DCE. Valuation results were susceptible to small changes in survey design in 45% of outcomes reporting reliability measures. DCE results were generally consistent with those of other stated preference techniques (convergent validity), but hypothetical bias was common. Evidence supporting theoretical validity (consistency with assumptions of rational choice theory) was limited. In content validity tests, 2–90% of respondents protested against a feature of the survey, and a considerable proportion found DCEs to be incomprehensible or inconsequential (17–40% and 10–62% respectively). DCE remains useful for non-market valuation, but its results should be used with caution. Given the sparse and inconclusive evidence base, we recommend that tests of reliability and validity are more routinely integrated into DCE studies and suggest how this might be achieved.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 10 August 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 27 August 2016
Organisations: Global Env Change & Earth Observation

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 400130
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/400130
ISSN: 0301-4797
PURE UUID: b103d278-edc5-4b0a-837f-e36f90832028
ORCID for Marije Schaafsma: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0878-069X

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Date deposited: 12 Sep 2016 08:23
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 05:11

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