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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 5: An evaluation of the potential of meta-analysis in value and function transfer

Kenneth J. Button


Kenneth J. Button 1 INTRODUCTION The idea of value transfer1 is an old one, although the term itself is relatively new. The technique involves making use of results from earlier studies that relied on a sampling approach to draw conclusions that are then applied to a wider framework of application. In the medical field, for instance, experiences gained from using various dosages from previous small-scale administrations of a medicine are used to derive the acceptable standard recommended dose. Its use in social science fields has become more widespread, as exemplified, for example, by the adoption of common values in transport cost–benefit studies in countries such as the United Kingdom, and through official support by bodies such as the US Environmental Protection Agency.2 The procedure can save money by reducing the need for new empirical analysis and can lead to more speedy decision making. It is not, however, without its detractors. This chapter initially looks at some of the key features of value transfer and how meta-analysis is playing an increasing role in its use in the environmental field. The body of the chapter examines the conditions that are important to make value transfer a viable tool in decision making and the extent to which these conditions must be met if meta-analysis is the preferred underlying method for deriving transfer values. The latter part of this chapter is essentially speculative and tries to look at the conditions that are likely to encourage value transfers to wider use...

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