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Using Discrete Choice Experiments for the Economic Valuation of Ecosystem Services in Rural Landscapes

3 – 9 September 2017

Vierraden, Uckermark, Germany



Application now open!



Funded by:


Background and objective

Ecosystems and the services they provide are threatened across the globe. To design efficient policies for the protection of ecosystems, politicians and economists have initiated the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) process. One goal of the initiative is to assist decision-makers by providing economic values for the services provided by ecosystems and biodiversity. Typically, markets do not exist for these services, and economists must therefore rely on non-market valuation, especially stated preferences methods.

This summer school provides an introduction to Discrete Choice Experiments (DCEs) for the economic valuation of ecosystem services in rural landscapes



  • Theoretical foundations of consumer theory
  • Design of DCEs with a specific reference to landscape attributes
  • State-of-the-art models for the econometric analysis of discrete choice data
  • Interpretation of results with respect to policymaking



During the day lectures are given and combined with exercises, using the open source statistical software R. In the afternoons participants will present and discuss their own projects (20 minutes per person).

There will be an excursion to the nearby national park "Unteres Odertal", Germany’s only floodplain national park known for its rich biodiversity and high aesthetic value.


Experts teaching the course

Prof. Dr. Katrin Rehdanz – Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel - Microeconomic Theory, Stated Preference Methods

Prof. Dr. Petr Mariel – Universidad del País Vasco, Bilbao - Microeconometrics, Advanced Discrete Choice Modelling

Dr. Klaus Glenk – Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), Edinburgh - Discrete Choice Experiments, Ecosystem Service Valuation

Dr. Jürgen Meyerhoff – Technische Universität Berlin - Discrete Choice Experiments, Experimental Design


Organisation & application procedure

Candidates are asked to send an application letter comprising a CV and a one page motivation letter as well a short abstract (max. 200 words) of their project as a single PDF file to Contact E-Mail

We strongly encourage female and international researchers to apply.

Due to generous funding from VolkswagenStiftung, participation is free of charge. Accommodation and meals are included. If you are interested in a travel grant, please include in your application a short statement expected travel expenses and on your funding situation.

Application Deadline is 15 June 2017. Confirmation emails will be sent out on 1 July 2017.

Please notice the length of the course with an expected arrival on 3 September and departure on 9 September 2017.

Certificates are provided with information on course coverage (equivalent to 3 ECTS).


Eligibility criteria

The summer school targets early career researchers interested in applying DCEs for the valuation of ecosystem services in rural landscapes. Typical applicants would be ecologists or geographers with an interest in economics, agricultural, environmental, or ecological economists, rural sociologists, environmental psychologists, or landscape and urban planners. A basic training in economic theory and methodology is a prerequisite for participation.

To allow for intensive learning, individual feedback from the lecturers, and a low student-to-teacher ratio, the number of participants is limited to 20. Due to the generous support of VolkwagenStiftung, we are able to support a limited number of participants with travel grants.


Venue and transport

The summer school will take place in the Tabakfabrik Vierraden in the region Uckermark close to the city of Schwedt. Schwedt can be reached easily from Berlin. The organizers offer joint transport by train from Berlin’s Central Station on 3 September 2017.


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