Edited by Raymond J.G.M. Florax, Peter Nijkamp and Kenneth G. Willis
Chapter 16: Meta-analysis and benefit transfer: synergy, lessons and research agendas
16. Meta-analysis and beneﬁt transfer: synergy, lessons and research agendas Raymond J.G.M. Florax, Peter Nijkamp, Kenneth G. Willis 1 INTRODUCTION In the context of environmental economics, and more speciﬁcally environmental valuation, meta-analysis attempts to assess environmental values by investigating the relationship between beneﬁt estimates (such as willingness-to-pay estimates), the features or attributes of the valued goods, and the framing and assumptions of the models used to estimate environmental values. Apart from the mere purpose of synthesizing information, or assessing the extent to which estimated values have a population eﬀect size in common, an explicit aim of meta-analysis could also be the application of past results to future resource policy decisions. Meta-analysis thus entails the systematic application of qualitative and (parametric or nonparametric) statistical methods to assess common features and variations across a wide range of prior studies. ‘Beneﬁt transfer’ or ‘value transfer’,1 in contrast, generally refers to the process by which a value, or a demand function, estimated for one environmental attribute or group of attributes at a speciﬁc site, is applied to assess the beneﬁts that can be attached to a similar attribute or set of attributes at another site elsewhere. Meta-analysis and value transfer techniques are both involved in comparing processes and estimates of outcomes across spatial areas and between projects, programmes and policies. An early application of beneﬁt transfer was the ‘unit day value’ method, widely used by the US Forest Service and the US Water Resources Council...
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