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The economic value of the Glass Beach: Contingent valuation and life satisfaction approaches

Vladimir Otrachshenko, Elena Tyurina and Artur Nagapetyan

Ecological Economics, 2022, vol. 198, issue C

Abstract: This paper investigates whether people value the environmental goods created as a result of the human-nature interaction. Using the novel face-to-face survey data collected in Vladivostok, the Far East of Russia, we examine the use and non-use value of a so-called Glass Beach. This beach is made of eroded glass fragments, a waste from human activities that has been recycled and processed by nature, creating a unique recreational site. Employing the contingent valuation technique, we elicit the individual willingness to pay of residents in Vladivostok for the preservation of the Glass Beach. We find that the total annual economic benefit based on the use and non-use values is 3.52 million USD, of which 3.3 million USD correspond to the non-use value part associated with the preservation of this beach for future generations. If the Glass Beach is not preserved, the total economic benefit converts to the welfare loss. We also find that visits to the Glass Beach increase the life satisfaction of residents. These results underscore the uniqueness of this site and may serve as the first step in designing beach management policies aimed at its preservation and at sustainable development of this coastal region. Our findings also open the discussion on the types of environmental sites and waste that can be considered as a “good” rather than a “bad”, such that people benefit from the consumption of their associated services.

Keywords: The Glass Beach; Life satisfaction; Waste; Use and non-use values (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H41 Q26 Q51 Q57 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2022.107466

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