Journal of Ocean and Coastal Economics

Document Type

Research Article


Non-market economic values derived from stated preference (SP) methods are often of interest for policy analysis and evaluation, program design, green accounting, and damage assessments and are increasingly in demand with adoption of ecosystem-based management approaches that emphasize accounting for ecosystem services and their values. A recent guidance prescribes a set of twenty-three best practices guidelines (BPGs) to follow when conducting a SP study to ensure the validity of the results and maximize its ability to provide reliable economic value information. In this article, we evaluate adherence to these guidelines within the U.S. SP marine ecosystem service valuation literature. Our results suggest adherence by the literature to the guidelines is heterogeneous with none of the studies examined adhering to all guidelines and some guidelines being adhered to better than others. Evidence points to adherence differences between older and more recent studies, between studies using different SP valuation methods, and between studies valuing recreation ecosystem services and ones valuing other ecosystem services. Furthermore, a citation analysis suggests studies addressing elements embodied in the BPGs tend to have more citations all else being equal. We discuss several challenges to valuing marine ecosystem services and areas for improvement and inquiry.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.