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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: A systematic review of the reliability and validity of discrete choice experiments in valuing non-market environmental goods
Author(s): Rakotonarivo, O Sarobidy
Schaafsma, Marije
Hockley, Neal
Keywords: Discrete choice experiment
Systematic review
Non-market environmental goods
Issue Date: 1-Dec-2016
Citation: Rakotonarivo OS, Schaafsma M & Hockley N (2016) A systematic review of the reliability and validity of discrete choice experiments in valuing non-market environmental goods. Journal of Environmental Management, 183 (Part 1), pp. 98-109.
Abstract: While discrete choice experiments (DCEs) are increasingly used in the field of environmental valuation, they remain controversial because of their hypothetical nature and the contested reliability and validity of their results. We systematically reviewed evidence on the validity and reliability of environmental DCEs from the past thirteen years (Jan 2003–February 2016). 107 articles met our inclusion criteria. These studies provide limited and mixed evidence of the reliability and validity of DCE. Valuation results were susceptible to small changes in survey design in 45% of outcomes reporting reliability measures. DCE results were generally consistent with those of other stated preference techniques (convergent validity), but hypothetical bias was common. Evidence supporting theoretical validity (consistency with assumptions of rational choice theory) was limited. In content validity tests, 2–90% of respondents protested against a feature of the survey, and a considerable proportion found DCEs to be incomprehensible or inconsequential (17–40% and 10–62% respectively). DCE remains useful for non-market valuation, but its results should be used with caution. Given the sparse and inconclusive evidence base, we recommend that tests of reliability and validity are more routinely integrated into DCE studies and suggest how this might be achieved.
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.08.032
Rights: © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (

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