Aggregating the benefits of environmental improvements: distance-decay functions for use and non-use values.
Nuclear accidents such as Chernobyl have far reaching impacts on ecological systems. Likewise they have major implications for agricultural systems, since crops and livestock can become contaminated and rendered unfit for human consumption. A range of ‘countermeasures’ exists however, which can mitigate these impacts and allow food products to be saved. The CESER project has been concerned with the development of a system to assess the environmental side-effects of such countermeasures. Estimates of the economic costs of these environmental side-effects have been made for a number of case study sites in the UK, using environmental models and an original contingent valuation study. Estimates of farm level (private) costs are also included. 1. Professor, Department of Economics, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8RT 2. Senior Lecturer, Department of Environmental Science, University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA 3. former Research Associate, Department of Environmental Science, University of Stirling 4. former Research Associate, Department. of Environmental Science, University of Stirling. Manuscript date: 4/10/2000. Acknowledgements An earlier version of this paper was presented to the Agricultural Economics Society conference, Belfast, March 1999. The CESER project was funded by the European Union’s Fourth Framework, Nuclear Fission Safety Programme (DGXII). Several academic institutions from across Europe participated in this project, including the University of Stirling, University of Bremen, Finnish Environment Institute, North-Trondelag College (Norway) and University of Salzburg. David Aitchison and Bill Jamieson of the cartography unit in the Department of Environmental Science, University of Stirling created the images used in the contingent valuation survey. Thanks go to two anonymous referees for comments on an earlier draft.