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  4. Estimating the Monetary Value of Social Connections, Networks, and Similar Structures in Local Communities

Estimating the Monetary Value of Social Connections, Networks, and Similar Structures in Local Communities

Research Topic
Estimating the monetary value of social connections, networks, and similar structures in local communities

 Lead Researcher
Masato Yodo, Professor, Graduate School of Management, Kyoto University

Joint Researchers
Toru Morotomi, Professor, Department of Global Ecology, Kyoto University Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies

Shigeru Hirota, Professor, Faculty of Economics, Kyoto Sangyo University

Tetsuharu Oba, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Management/Graduate School of Engineering

Shintaro Fukushima, Lecturer, Department of Communication, School of Arts and Sciences Division of Psychology and Communication, Tokyo Woman’s Christian University

Atsuhiko Uchida, Program-Specific Research Fellow, Educational and Research Unit for Studies on the Connectivity of Hills, Humans and Oceans, Kyoto University



In recent years, the role and importance of social connections and networks in local communities has been attracting attention as a form of social capital. Since these have been recognized as important factors for promoting city and town management, policymakers are highly interested in initiatives that contribute to maintaining and creating human relationships.


Policy planning and formulation require a cost-benefit perspective, but the economic outcomes of these factors only appear in a limited manner in research to date. Therefore, it is difficult to assess whether the returns on policy support are commensurate with the benefits, and we have not considered more in-depth support measures yet.


In recent years, in the field of environmental economics, the evaluation method based on life satisfaction and called the Life Satisfaction Approach (LSA), which is used as an indicator of well-being, has been proposed in addition to conventional methods, such as the revealed preference approach (e.g., the Hedonic Approach) and the stated preference method (e.g., the Contingent Valuation Method (CVM)). LSA is attracting attention as a new method to monetarily evaluate the benefits / value of goods or services that are not traded in the market, while also addressing issues to which conventional methods have been applied.


The purpose of this research project is to “visualize” intangible assets, such as social connections and networks, by utilizing LSA to estimate their monetary value. In addition, important decision-making materials for planning future urban development or community policies will be provided, and further development into policies in these fields is expected.