Valuation Tools - Hedonic Pricing Method
This method is used for valuation of non-marketed goods and services. In this method we decompose the price of a commodity into the prices of its components or attributes. For greater clarity we explain this method with an example of housing prices. It is observed that the price of a house in an urban setting is ascribed to availability of various amenities such as open space, lower noise and congestion, and proximity to parks apart from the structure and size of the house. A house with better environmental amenities (other aspects such as proximity to public school, availability of public transport, police protection, decent neighbor hood, etc. remaining similar) usually fetches a higher price than one located in a polluted environ. Thus the difference in the price of the two houses can be considered as the willingness to pay for better quality environment.
This method needs to be used with caution as it is difficult to keep certain variables unchanged (in the above example, size of house and similarity of non-environmental factors) while changing environmental attributes. Secondly, much subjectivity is involved in the decomposition of the attributes, measurement of these attributes, and precise valuation these attributes. Thirdly, data requirement is enormous in the case of hedonic pricing method which hinders its applications.