Comparative Environmental Economic Assessment
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Comparative Environmental Economic Assessment

Edited by Raymond J.G.M. Florax, Peter Nijkamp and Kenneth G. Willis

Over the last decade, economists have increasingly recognized the role of meta-analysis and value transfer in synthesizing knowledge and efficiently exploiting the existing pool of knowledge. Comparative Environmental Economic Assessment explores the potential significance of using these techniques, particularly in environmental economics. Both meta-analysis and value transfer constitute major research tools which efficiently use knowledge previously acquired from other studies. The book focuses on the potential role and usefulness of these tools in environmental economic research, and goes on to address their validity, relevance and applicability
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Chapter 2: Some parallels in the development of meta-analysis in the natural and social sciences

Reinout Heijungs

Extract

2. Some parallels in the development of meta-analysis in the natural and social sciences Reinout Heijungs* 1 INTRODUCTION A popular field of interest in current economics is the ensemble that comprises meta-analysis, value transfer and benefit transfer (see, for instance, Hunter and Schmidt, 1990; Wolf, 1986; van den Bergh et al., 1997). Ideas on what exactly is to be understood by this ensemble, and to what extent the three terms that span it are synonymous or imply one another, diverge somewhat. We will first introduce the terms in order to base a subsequent discussion on fundamental aspects of these definitions. Bal and Nijkamp (1997, p.5) provide some clear definitions that we will be following: Meta-analysis [is] a scientific investigation of a well-defined set of previously published individual studies concerning a certain subject, with the aim to apply qualitative as well as quantitative review techniques in order to make an integral cross-sectional or comparative study of the available material, leading to more insights on the chosen subject of research and ending up with a systematic synthesis. And Value transfer [...] is a scientific analysis of a subject under study, which aims to use cumulated knowledge generated via previously undertaken similar types of research endeavours in order to draw inferences on hitherto unexplored cases. It serves to meet the formulated study objectives of a repeated study against the least possible research cost. Moreover, benefit analysis is considered to be synonymous with value transfer, and usage of...

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