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    Averting behaviour models

    Suitability for the forest ecosystem services to be valued:
    Regulating services
    Description of the method:
    Averting behaviour models are based on the presumption that people will change their behaviour and invest money to avoid an undesirable outcome. Thus, averting behaviour analyses the rate of substitution between changes in behaviour and expenditures on and changes in environmental quality in order to infer the value of certain non-marketed environmental attributes. This models are similar to the travel cost method and hedonic pricing, but they differ as they use as a basis individual behaviour to avoid negative intangible impacts as a conceptual base. However, the situation is complicated by the fact that these market goods might have more benefits than simply that of reducing an intangible bad. Averting behaviour occurs when individuals take costly actions to avoid exposure to a non-market bad. It is needed to take account the fact that valuing these alternative actions might not be a straightforward task, for instance, if time which would have been spent doing one thing is instead used to do something else, not only avoiding exposure to the non-market impact in question, but also producing valuable economic outputs.
    Benefits of the method:
    It has a sound theoretical basis
    It uses data on actual expenditures and data requirements can be modest
    Limitation of the method:
    Not a widely used methodology
    Can only estimate use values
    Limited to cases where households spend money to offset environmental hazards/nuisances
    Confined to cases where those affected are aware of the environmental issue and act because of them
    Appropriate data may be difficult to obtain