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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 7: Benefit transfer: testing for accuracy and reliability

Olvar Bergland, Kristin Magnussen and Ståle Navrud


7. Benefit transfer: testing for accuracy and reliability Olvar Bergland, Kristin Magnussen, Ståle Navrud* 1 INTRODUCTION Valuing environmental impacts of a project, policy initiative or regulation using the contingent valuation method or other non-market valuation techniques takes time and can be very costly. As an alternative to conducting new and project specific valuation studies, already estimated values could be used as approximations. Such an approach has been termed ‘benefit transfer’ because the estimates of economic benefits are ‘transferred’ from a site where a study has already been done to the site of policy interest (Desvousges et al., 1992). The site of the previous research is called the ‘study site’, and the site where the new benefit estimate is needed is termed the ‘policy site’. Such transfer is a ‘less than ideal’ benefit estimation method, but so are most valuation efforts in the sense that better estimates could often be obtained if more time and money were available. Analysts must constantly judge how to provide sound policy advice in a timely manner, subject to the resource constraints they face. Also benefit transfer methods may be particularly useful in policy contexts where rough economic value estimates may be sufficient to make a judgment regarding the advisability of a policy or project. Authorities in many countries frequently use benefit transfer in some form, but little has been done to test the appropriateness of such procedures. There is a need for more knowledge...

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