Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 223–247

Marine Debris, Beach Quality, and Non-Market Values

  • V. Kerry Smith
  • Xiaolong Zhang
  • Raymond B. Palmquist

DOI: 10.1023/A:1026465413899

Cite this article as:
Smith, V.K., Zhang, X. & Palmquist, R.B. Environmental and Resource Economics (1997) 10: 223. doi:10.1023/A:1026465413899


This paper reports the first attempt to measure the importance of controlling marine debris as an aesthetic characteristic of beaches and coastal area. The results are based on a contingent valuation survey designed to estimate the economic value people would place on controlling marine debris on recreational beaches in New Jersey and North Carolina. A Weibull survival model was estimated treating for and against votes as defining censoring points for an unknown willingness to pay distribution. The findings suggest: (1) people do distinguish situations with differing amounts of debris when they are described using color photographs; (2) the pilot survey implies measures of people's willingness to pay (WTP) for debris control are consistent with a scope test in that larger WTP is associated with programs intended to address situations for more serious background levels of debris; and (3) local beach conditions seem to influence how people interpreted the plans describing beach conditions without the proposed control programs.

marine debris contingent valuation scope test 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Kerry Smith
    • 1
  • Xiaolong Zhang
    • 2
  • Raymond B. Palmquist
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  2. 2.AT&TBasking RidgeUSA
  3. 3.Dept of EconomicsNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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