Do focus groups contribute anything to the contingent valuation process?

George Hutchinson, S.M. Chilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


The qualitative aspects of the Contingent Valuation Method (CVM) are largely ignored by (environmental) economists. This paper aims to instigate a discussion on (a) the usefulness of qualitative data to the contingent valuation process in general; and (b) the use and applicability of the focus group method in particular. We consider the range and uses of focus groups within the CVM and highlight problems with their analysis that have, to date, largely been ignored. A potential solution to circumvent the problem of non-independence of group data is suggested. While there are several distinct and worthwhile uses for qualitative data, focus groups should not automatically be taken as the only or best method to produce these insights even though they are the major one considered in this article. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-483
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Economic Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Applied Psychology


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