The popular Stated preference methods course was held in the beginning of May for the 10th consecutive year at SLU, Umeå. In this course students learn how to measure the value of non-market goods and services, such as environmental improvements.
The course focus on practical issues of survey based economic technique for valuating non-market resources like a view over a lake, a stroll in an untouched forest or skiing in a natural reserve. Professor Bengt Kriström tells us more about the background: - Non-market valuation is today a very big field, the methods are being increasingly used all over the world. In the US, such methods are routinely used for determining how much a polluter should pay for inflicting oil pollution damages, like the Exxon Valdex case in 1989. Today there are more than 10,000 studies of the subject and we expect this number to increase in the future. Because of the increasing interest in "valuing the invaluable", we also see increasing demands for an advanced course.
When announcing the course, 10 seats were available. However due to a large amount of applicants, the course expanded and was given to 15 students. - Perhaps the most important reason for its popularity is that this kind of hands-on course is not given (for free) at many other universities, says Bengt.
The students come from different European universities placed in the Czech republic, Switzerland, Scotland, Denmark, Norway, France, England and Sweden. It turns out that the course has quite a few "grandchildren" -- previous students who are now professors send their students over. One of the most important benefits of this course is that it creates an ever-expanding network between students. As a matter of fact, says Bengt, one student I had in 2005 has later explained to me the important role the course played for him to develop his own research network.
If you feel that you've missed the course, don't worry, it will also be offered in May 2016 and possible also this autumn at TIDES, GC, Spain, where it was also given in the autumn of 2014.
Read more about former courses and students
Stated Preference Methods course on tour
10 different nationalities at CERE course
Stated Preferences – worth travelling for