Here is a great illustration of what professors can do with nonmarket valuation in the classroom:
An economics class at St. Mary’s College of Maryland took a look this fall at the costs of deer/vehicle collisions as well as a theoretical way to cut down on such accidents.
“Valuation in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics” is an experimental survey and statistics class new to the campus this semester.
Amy Henderson, assistant professor of economics, teaches the upper-level course, which is designed to engage students in applied economic analysis outside the classroom. ...
Henderson taught students how to assign value to intangible amenities using advanced statistics coursework, a process called contingent valuation. ...
One question asked residents their opinion of a one-time tax on county households to fund a deer-fencing project.
Henderson said that based on the 200 responses, households said they would be willing to pay $28.31 to fund the theoretical project. Multiplied by the number of homes in the county, the class statistically analyzed the survey data and concluded that residents placed an estimated $1 million value on the proposal.
McInerney and his classmates presented the project earlier this month to Rebecca Bridgett, St. Mary’s County administrator, George Erichsen, director of public works and transportation, and the county commissioners. ...
“My goal is to get students to see the potential of what they’ve been learning all along,” Henderson said.
She said she hopes her lessons will motivate students to tackle meaningful projects in their futures.
“It was certainly a very interesting experience to work with the community and get opinions on not only the survey, but the topic as well,” senior Kara Kotler said. “I feel it is important for the college to engage with [members of the] community because they are a great resource for the college.”
The course is expected to be offered every fall. Students will study a different topic each year.