Item: Avaluation: estimating the economic value of the avalanche bulletin
Title: Avaluation: estimating the economic value of the avalanche bulletin
Proceedings: International Snow Science Workshop, Davos 2009, Proceedings
Authors: Anna Alberini, Andrea M. Leiter, Christoph M. Rheinberger, Chuck McCormick, Andrew Mizrahi, University of Maryland, College Park MD, U.S.A., University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria, WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF
Abstract: When planning their excursions, backcountry and out-of-bounds skiers rely on avalanche bulletins that provide information about the danger level, the snow conditions and other safety-relevant aspects. The users of avalanche bulletins and accompanying information maps are charged only a nominal price that covers the transmission costs (e.g. costs for internet use) but does not bear a relationship to the costs of providing this information. Under these conditions, it is not possible to use market information to place a monetary value on avalanche bulletins. Here, we present a contingent valuation study to estimate the economic value of avalanche bulletins to the users. For this purpose, we draw on data of an internet-based survey, which asked users of the Swiss avalanche bulletin about their valuation of improved avalanche information. Based on the stated answers, we are able to (i) estimate the willingness-to-pay for improvements in the avalanche bulletins and by making assumptions about the reduction in avalanche fatalities due to the improved bulletin service to (ii) value the avalanche bulletin in monetary units.
Keywords: avalanche bulletin, contingent valuation, willingness-to-pay, value of statistical life
Digital Abstract Not Available