Estimating the economic value of environmental education: a case study of South Korea

Jinyoung Kang, Donggyu Yi, Jong Ho Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Environmental education (EE) has received more and more attention worldwide. In Korea, there is a national consensus on the importance of EE; however, it is not as much of a priority as other education subjects or themes, based on annual survey results. This study asks how much value Korean citizens place on EE, revealing its value more objectively than the opinion survey. This study estimates citizens’ benefits from EE using the contingent valuation method (CVM) to elicit willingness to pay (WTP). The survey scenario detailed information about the Green Movable EE Classroom program managed by the South Korean Ministry of Environment, and its 1,004 participants comprised a representative sample of Korea. The results are as follows. If the average household’s annual WTP (KRW 17,575; USD 14.85) were expanded to the total number of Korean households, the total benefit would be about KRW 367.2 billion (USD 310 million) per year. This result can be interpreted as citizens being willing to pay that amount for EE. This study estimated the economic value and is the first empirical attempt to reveal the value of EE nationwide. This study expands the theoretical discussion of the value of EE and provides evidence for policy revision.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Education Research
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Environmental education
  • contingent valuation method
  • education policy
  • nonmarket valuation


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