Environmental Valuation and Rationality

Arild Vatn


Economic valuation of the environment is disputed, in part, due to the number of anomalies. Reactions to these anomalies have included adding new auxiliary hypotheses to the core model or dismissing the whole undertaking. This paper takes a third route, and uses observations made in valuation studies to improve choice theory. The paper covers the information problem, the issue of preference formation, and underlines the role of the social sphere in defining what becomes individually rational. While the findings not simplify theory, they may help us become more realistic and to understand errors produced by illegitimate simplifications. (JEL Q28, D6)

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