Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 44, Issue 4, pp 537–553

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


    • Departamento de Fundamentos da Análise EconómicaUniversidade de Santiago de Compostela
  • John B. Loomis
    • Department of Agricultural and Resource EconomicsColorado State University
  • Maria Xosé Vázquez
    • Departamento de Economía AplicadaUniversidade de Vigo

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 valuationWildlife lossesOil spillsPassive use value

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009