Application of the contingent valuation method in a developing country: a case study of the Yusufeli Dam in northeast Turkey

Hydroelectric power plants and dams often play an important role in developing countries in terms of their contribution to economy. In accordance with the energy policies of Turkish Republic, Yusufeli Dam and Hydroelectric Power Plant in Northeastern Turkey have been initiated. In this study, the Contingent Valuation Method (CVM) was conducted in Yusufeli Village to determine the environmental costs of the Yusufeli Project. The purpose is to assess the willingness to pay (WTP) of Yusufeli Village residents for restoration of the environmental impacts of the dam project and also to investigate the underlying economic, psychological, and social motivations for WTP. WTP was calculated as US$761 per person which can further be used in the cost-benefit analysis. The results from the study suggest that application of the CVM in rural and urban areas located in the same region can show differences.