Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 44, Issue 4, pp 537–553

Economic Valuation of Environmental Damages due to the Prestige Oil Spill in Spain

  • Maria L. Loureiro
  • John B. Loomis
  • Maria Xosé Vázquez

DOI: 10.1007/s10640-009-9300-x

Cite this article as:
Loureiro, M.L., Loomis, J.B. & Vázquez, M.X. Environ Resource Econ (2009) 44: 537. doi:10.1007/s10640-009-9300-x


This paper presents a parametric and non-parametric analysis of data from a contingent valuation study (CVM) conducted to estimate environmental use and passive use losses due to the Prestige oil spill. This is the first CVM study conducted in Europe after a large oil spill. The CVM survey was implemented using in person interviews. Mean willingness to pay (WTP) values were computed with both, a parametric and non-parametric approach. Parametric WTP estimation indicates that respondents in the sample are willing to pay about 40.51 € per household to avoid a similar future oil spill in Spain. This implies that on average, the Spanish society places a value of the environmental losses caused by the Prestige oil spill around 574 € million. Non-parametric estimates are slightly higher at 58.08 € per household. WTP results are similar to those obtained in the Exxon Valdez study.


Contingent valuation Wildlife losses Oil spills Passive use value 

JEL Classification

Q51 Q53 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria L. Loureiro
    • 1
  • John B. Loomis
    • 2
  • Maria Xosé Vázquez
    • 3
  1. 1.Departamento de Fundamentos da Análise EconómicaUniversidade de Santiago de CompostelaSantiago de CompostelaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural and Resource EconomicsColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  3. 3.Departamento de Economía AplicadaUniversidade de VigoVigoSpain