53rd Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Regional Integration: Europe, the Mediterranean and the World Economy", 27-31 August 2013, Palermo, Italy
Shirakami Mountain Range has the largest primeval forest in the world, and has some public functions; the biodiversity function, the water resource cultivation function, the health and recreation function and so on. This study tries to measure its environmental economic value by using the travel cost method (TCM) and the contingent valuation method (CVM). The TCM and the CVM are well-known as the typical technique of environmental economic valuation. The TCM can measure only the direct and current use value of environmental goods, but the CVM can measure the whole value including the non-use value of them. In the practice of environmental economic valuation, it is often adopted that the use value is measured by the TCM and that the non-use or the whole values are measured by CVM. However, there is no statistical significance in the difference between those values measured by the TCM and the CVM, because these methods are modeled independently and have no theoretical consistency. In this study, we have constructed a valuation model based on the CVM consistent with the TCM, in order to measure the use and the non-use values of environmental goods consistently. By applying this model to measurement of environmental economic value of Shirakami Mountain Range, practicality of the method is also examined. The result indicated that the willingness to pay (WTP) for the environmental preservation of Shirakami Mountain Range was estimated as 6,679 JPY/person/year by using the CVM which had no consistency with the TCM, but it was estimated as 1,028 JPY/person/year by using our model based on the CVM consistent with the TCM. Now, 6,679 JPY/person/year means its whole value, but 1,028 JPY/person/year means its non-use value. On the other hand, by using the TCM, the consumer surplus (CS) was estimated as 11,154 JPY/person/year in the local area of Shirakami Mountain Range and 5,579 JPY/person/year in Tokyo. Here, these values mean the use value of Shirakami Mountain Range. That is to say, the whole value was estimated as lower than the use value by using the CVM which had no consistency with the TCM. As a result, our model could measure the use and the non-use values of environmental goods consistently.
travel cost method contingent valuation method use value non-use value Shirakami Mountain Range