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How much are people willing to pay for silence? A contingent valuation study

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Despite its major importance in the urban environment, the problem of noise has received little attention from environmental economists. In this paper the economic value of a noise reduction programme is evaluated. The chosen technique is contingent valuation using the recently proposed one and one-half bound question format. This new question format reduces the potential for response bias in multiple bound formats such as the double bound model while maintaining much of its efficiency. Through the estimations it is found that urban residents generally value noise negatively, that is, households are willing to pay for a noise reduction. In particular, it is found that households are willing to pay approximately four euros per decibel per year. A further finding is that interviewees show scope sensitivity; that is, households display a different willingness to pay for different degrees of noise reduction, most are willing to pay more for larger decreases in the level of disturbance from noise.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Agricultural Economics Area, CIFA, Camino de Purchil, IFAPA - Sunta Andalucia, 18003 Granada, Spain 2: Business Administration Department, Universidad Pública de Navarra, Pamplona 31006, Spain 3: Department of Business Administration, ETSEA, Universitat de Lleida, Rovira Roure 191, Lleida 25198, Spain

Publication date: June 20, 2005

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