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Valuing environmental factors in cost-benefit analysis using data envelopment analysis

  • Kuosmanen, Timo
  • Kortelainen, Mika

Environmental cost-benefit analysis (ECBA) refers to social evaluation of investment projects and policies that involve significant environmental impacts. Valuation of the environmental impacts in monetary terms forms one of the critical steps in ECBA. We propose a new approach for environmental valuation within ECBA framework that is based on data envelopment analysis (DEA) and does not demand any price estimation for environmental impacts using traditional revealed or stated preference methods. We show that DEA can be modified to the context of CBA by using absolute shadow prices instead of traditionally used relative prices. We also discuss how the approach can be used for sensitive analysis which is an important part of ECBA. We illustrate the application of the DEA approach to ECBA by means of a hypothetical numerical example where a household considers investment to a new sport utility vehicle.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 62 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 56-65

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:62:y:2007:i:1:p:56-65
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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  1. Boxall, Peter C. & Adamowicz, Wiktor L. & Swait, Joffre & Williams, Michael & Louviere, Jordan, 1996. "A comparison of stated preference methods for environmental valuation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 243-253, September.
  2. Mika Kortelainen & Timo Kuosmanen, 2005. "Eco-Efficiency Analysis of Consumer Durables Using Absolute Shadow Prices," Public Economics 0511022, EconWPA.
  3. Peter A. Diamond & Jerry A. Hausman, 1994. "Contingent Valuation: Is Some Number Better than No Number?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 45-64, Fall.
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  6. Timo Kuosmanen & Mika Kortelainen, 2004. "Data Envelopment Analysis in Environmental Valuation: Environmental Performance, Eco-efficiency and Cost-Benefit Analysis," Others 0409004, EconWPA.
  7. Cummings, Ronald G & Harrison, Glenn W & Rutstrom, E Elisabet, 1995. "Homegrown Values and Hypothetical Surveys: Is the Dichotomous Choice Approach Incentive-Compatible?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 260-66, March.
  8. R. D. Banker & A. Charnes & W. W. Cooper, 1984. "Some Models for Estimating Technical and Scale Inefficiencies in Data Envelopment Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(9), pages 1078-1092, September.
  9. Cropper, Maureen L & Oates, Wallace E, 1992. "Environmental Economics: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 675-740, June.
  10. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L., 1992. "Valuing public goods: The purchase of moral satisfaction," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 57-70, January.
  11. Fare, Rolf & Grosskopf, Shawna & Tyteca, Daniel, 1996. "An activity analysis model of the environmental performance of firms--application to fossil-fuel-fired electric utilities," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 161-175, August.
  12. Nash, Christopher A & Pearce, David W & Stanley, John K, 1975. "An Evaluation of Cost-Benefit Analysis Criteria," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 22(2), pages 121-34, June.
  13. Yaisawarng, Suthathip & Klein, J Douglass, 1994. "The Effects of Sulfur Dioxide Controls on Productivity Change in the U.S. Electric Power Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(3), pages 447-60, August.
  14. Charnes, A. & Cooper, W. W. & Rhodes, E., 1978. "Measuring the efficiency of decision making units," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 2(6), pages 429-444, November.
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