Using Citizen Expert Groups in Environmental Valuation - Lessons from a CVM study in Northern Thailand
In this paper we show how citizen expert groups can be used to improve the design of contingent valuation surveys. The concept of citizen expert groups combines the various advantages of focus groups and of participatory approaches like citizen juries and the market stall method. Using an empirical study in Thailand it is demonstrated that after developing the project scenario and the questionnaire in cooperation with a citizen expert group the result of the study became independent of the interview form used in the survey which was taken as an indicator for the reliability and validity of the study. Testing different elicitation question formats in our survey it showed that with the payment card format face-to-face interviews and mail interviews yielded the same social willingness to pay. A practical consequence of our findings could be that in the future costly face-to-face interviews can be substituted by much cheaper mail interviews in CVM surveys if the payment card format is used for the elicitation question and the whole survey design is optimized following the advice resulting from appropriately organized citizen expert groups.
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