The word- nonmarket

I think it is unfortunate that economic literature adopted the phrase nonmarket valuation when using hedonic equations for securing a numerical value for public goods, or proxy thereof. The method of econometric calculation is used all over the world to secure numerical values for impacts of everything from wildfires to airplane noise to crime. You might notice that these are all goods which benefit (or detract) from the welfare of the public nearby.

Just to be clear- I’m referring to methods which involve the use of home sales values when properties are sold in an open and active market. There is no denying that the exchange of real estate for funds is a market transaction. Which is why I find it baffling that a component of a market generated price would be termed nonmarket.

Of course, buyers pay more for less airplane noise, or take a hit when a home is on a busy road. If it is a freeway instead of a through street with the occasional bus rolling by, the seller will need to take a bigger discount. Hundreds of buyers and sellers come up with these outcomes in a market. The discount of living in a flood plain or near a high-risk forest fire area or under the power line is derived by markets. The premium for the wooded lot or the view of the Rockies is determined by markets.

I think what is being drilled down on here is that the components cannot be separated from the bundles. And the features of the crime level or the subway or the quality of the schools are derived from efforts (or networks) of nearby participating neighbors. That makes these components of the total price non-fungible- they cannot be sliced off and traded.

But they are most definitely priced in a market environment. Nonmarket makes no sense.