Non-Market Values in a Cost-Benefit World: Evidence from a Choice Experiment
In support of natural resource and ecosystem service policy, monetary value estimates are often presented to decision makers along with other types of information. There is some evidence that, presented with such ‘mixed’ information, people prioritise monetary over non-monetary information. We conduct a discrete choice experiment among New Zealand decision makers in which we manipulate the information presented to participants. We find that providing explicit monetary information strengthens the pursuit of economic benefits as well as the avoidance of environmental damage. Cultural impacts, of which we provided only qualitative descriptions, did not affect respondents’ choices. Our study provides further evidence that concerns regarding the use of monetary information in decisions with complex, multi-value impacts are valid. Further research is needed to validate our results and find ways to reduce any bias in monetary and non-market information.