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Contemporary Guidance for Stated Preference Studies

Johnston, R.J.; Boyle, K.J.; Adamowicz, W.; Bennett, J.; Brouwer, R.; Cameron, T.A.; Hanemann, W.M.; Hanley, N.; Scarpa, R.; Tourangeau, R.; Vossler, C.A.

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R.J. Johnston

K.J. Boyle

W. Adamowicz

J. Bennett

R. Brouwer

T.A. Cameron

W.M. Hanemann

N. Hanley

R. Tourangeau

C.A. Vossler


This article proposes contemporary best-practice recommendations for stated preference (SP) studies used to inform decision making, grounded in the accumulated body of peer-reviewed literature. These recommendations consider the use of SP methods to estimate both use and non-use (passive-use) values, and cover the broad SP domain, including contingent valuation and discrete choice experiments. We focus on applications to public goods in the context of the environment and human health but also consider ways in which the proposed recommendations might apply to other common areas of application. The recommendations recognize that SP results may be used and reused (benefit transfers) by governmental agencies and nongovernmental organizations, and that all such applications must be considered. The intended result is a set of guidelines for SP studies that is more comprehensive than that of the original National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Blue Ribbon Panel on contingent valuation, is more germane to contemporary applications, and reflects the two decades of research since that time. We also distinguish between practices for which accumulated research is sufficient to support recommendations and those for which greater uncertainty remains. The goal of this article is to raise the quality of SP studies used to support decision making and promote research that will further enhance the practice of these studies worldwide.


Johnston, R., Boyle, K., Adamowicz, W., Bennett, J., Brouwer, R., Cameron, T., …Vossler, C. (2017). Contemporary Guidance for Stated Preference Studies. Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, 4(2), 319-405.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 23, 2017
Online Publication Date Mar 29, 2017
Publication Date Jun 1, 2017
Deposit Date Mar 22, 2017
Publicly Available Date Mar 29, 2018
Journal Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists
Print ISSN 2333-5955
Electronic ISSN 2333-5963
Publisher The University of Chicago Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Issue 2
Pages 319-405
Public URL


Accepted Journal Article (675 Kb)

Copyright Statement
© 2017 by The Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. All rights reserved.

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