Economics at your fingertips  

Using structural restrictions to achieve theoretical consistency in benefit transfers

Stephen Newbold (), Patrick Walsh (), D. Matthew Massey () and Julie Hewitt ()
Additional contact information
D. Matthew Massey: U.S. EPA, National Center for Environmental Economics
Julie Hewitt: U.S. EPA, Office of Water

Environmental & Resource Economics, 2018, vol. 69, issue 3, 529-553

Abstract: Abstract Analysts often extrapolate estimates of the value of environmental improvements reported in prior studies to evaluate new policy proposals, a practice sometimes referred to as “benefit transfer.” Benefit transfer functions are frequently specified based on statistical considerations alone. However, such a purely statistical approach can lead to willingness-to-pay functions that fail to satisfy some aspects of theoretical consistency that may be especially important for policy evaluations. In this paper, we examine several previous meta-analyses of nonmarket valuation studies in light of the adding-up condition, which is one important aspect of theoretical validity. We then use meta-regression to estimate a new willingness-to-pay function for surface water quality improvements intended to be used for benefit transfers. We estimate the meta-regression model using summary results from 51 previously published stated preference studies. An important feature of our approach is that we develop the meta-regression estimating equation to ensure that the resulting benefit transfer function will necessarily comply with the adding-up condition. This is achieved by first specifying a marginal willingness-to-pay function and then deriving an expression for total willingness-to-pay. This leads to a non-linear estimating equation, so we estimate the parameters of the model using non-linear least squares. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of our approach relative to other structural approaches, and we compare our empirical results to a more traditional nonstructural meta-regression model. Finally, we examine the quantitative importance of imposing the adding-up condition in our case study by performing some illustrative calculations of willingness-to-pay for hypothetical water quality improvements using both structural and non-structural models.

Keywords: Benefit transfer; Meta-analysis; Water quality; Non-market valuation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) Abstract (text/html)
Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.springer. ... al/journal/10640/PS2

Access Statistics for this article

Environmental & Resource Economics is currently edited by Ian J. Bateman

More articles in Environmental & Resource Economics from Springer, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla ().

Page updated 2019-10-07
Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:69:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s10640-017-0209-5