Fujiwara, Daniel (2013) A general method for valuing non-market goods using wellbeing data: three-stage wellbeing valuation. CEP Discussion Papers, CEPDP1233. Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.
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Subjective wellbeing data is becoming increasingly popular in economics research. The wellbeing valuation approach uses wellbeing data instead of data gleaned from preferences to attach monetary values to non-market goods. This method could be an important alternative to preference-based valuation methods such as contingent valuation, but there are a number of significant technical deficiencies with the current methodology. It is argued that the current method derives biased estimates of the value of non-market goods. The paper presents Three-Stage Wellbeing Valuation, a new approach to valuation using subjective wellbeing data that solves for the main technical problems and as a result derives estimates of welfare change and value that are consistent with welfare economic theory. As an example, I derive robust values associated with unemployment using the new approach and compare these to biased values derived from the standard wellbeing valuation method. Values derived from Three-Stage Wellbeing Valuation can be used in cost-benefit analysis.
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