BENEFITS OF PRESERVING OLD-GROWTH FORESTS AND THE SPOTTED OWL
DANIEL A. HAQEN
JAMES W. VINCENT
PATRICK G. WELLE
This paper presents results from a national contingent-valuation study of the economic benefits of preserving old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest. The study elicits "market-like" valuation responses from U.S. households concerning the benefits of a conservation policy for the northern spotted owl. These data provide a basis for estimating the benefits of preservation in terms of average household willingness to pay. Existing cost estimates are used to compute threshold prices that the benefits of the policy must exceed for the policy to be efficient. Benefit/cost ratios are calculated using "best" and "lower-bound" estimates of the benefits of preservation. Under all combinations of assumptions, the estimated benefits exceed the costs of the conservation policy. Copyright 1992 Western Economic Association International.
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