Free Content Choice experiments in environmental impact assessment: the case of the Toro 3 hydroelectric project and the Recreo Verde tourist center in Costa Rica

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Abstract:

Choice experiments, a stated preference valuation method, are proposed as a tool to assign monetary values to environmental externalities during the ex ante stages of environmental impact assessment. This case study looks at the impacts of the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity's Toro 3 hydroelectric project and its impacts on the Recreo Verde tourism center in San Carlos, Costa Rica. Compared to other valuation methods (e.g., travel cost and contingent valuation), choice experiments can create hypothetical but realistic scenarios for consumers and generate restoration alternatives for the affected good. Although they have limitations that must be taken into account in environmental impact assessment, incorporating economic parameters (especially resource constraints and tradeoffs) can substantially enrich the assessment process.

Keywords: Costa Rica; choice experiments; economic valuation; hydropower; stated preference; tourism

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3152/146155111X12959673795804

Affiliations: 1: Centro de Gestión Ambiental, UEN Proyectos y Servicios Asociados, Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, San José, Costa Rica +506 2220 6936 +506 2220 6936 < xmlns:xlink="" xlink:href="">dcarias@ice.go.cr, Email: dcarias@ice.go.cr, URL: http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink dcarias@ice.go.cr, Email: dcarias@ice.go.cr, URL: http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink "> 2: Environment for Development Center for Central America, CATIE, 7170 Cartago Turrialba, 30501, Costa Rica +506 2558 2215 +506 2558 2215 < xmlns:xlink="" xlink:href="">falpizar@catie.ac.cr, Email: falpizar@catie.ac.cr, URL: http://www.w3.org/1999/xlinkfalpizar@catie.ac.cr, Email: falpizar@catie.ac.cr, URL: http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink">

Publication date: December 1, 2011

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