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What can we learn from benefit transfer errors? Evidence from 20 years of research on convergent validity

Listed author(s):
  • Kaul, Sapna
  • Boyle, Kevin J.
  • Kuminoff, Nicolai V.
  • Parmeter, Christopher F.
  • Pope, Jaren C.

We develop a nonparametric approach to meta-analysis and use it to identify modeling decisions that affect benefit transfer errors. The meta-data describe the results from 31 empirical studies testing the convergent validity of benefit transfers. They evaluated numerous methodological procedures, collectively reporting 1071 transfer errors. Our meta-regressions identify several important findings, including: (1) the median absolute error is 39%; (2) function transfers outperform value transfers; (3) transfers describing environmental quantity generate lower transfer errors than transfers describing quality changes; (4) geographic site similarity is important for value transfers; (5) contingent valuation generates lower transfer errors than other valuation methods; and (6) combining data from multiple studies tends to reduce transfer errors.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0095069613000168
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

Volume (Year): 66 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 90-104

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:66:y:2013:i:1:p:90-104
DOI: 10.1016/j.jeem.2013.03.001
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622870

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  1. Kirchhoff, Stefanie & Colby, Bonnie G. & LaFrance, Jeffrey T., 1997. "Evaluating the Performance of Benefit Transfer: An Empirical Inquiry," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 75-93, May.
  2. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2008. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 414-427, August.
  3. Henderson, Daniel J. & Kumbhakar, Subal C. & Parmeter, Christopher F., 2012. "A simple method to visualize results in nonlinear regression models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(3), pages 578-581.
  4. Peter Hall & Qi Li & Jeffrey S. Racine, 2007. "Nonparametric Estimation of Regression Functions in the Presence of Irrelevant Regressors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(4), pages 784-789, November.
  5. Bergstrom, John C. & Taylor, Laura O., 2006. "Using meta-analysis for benefits transfer: Theory and practice," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 351-360, December.
  6. Savchuk, Olga Y. & Hart, Jeffrey D. & Sheather, Simon J., 2010. "Indirect Cross-Validation for Density Estimation," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 105(489), pages 415-423.
  7. Rosenberger, Randall S. & Stanley, Tom D., 2006. "Measurement, generalization, and publication: Sources of error in benefit transfers and their management," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 372-378, December.
  8. Robert J. Johnston & Randall S. Rosenberger, 2010. "Methods, Trends And Controversies In Contemporary Benefit Transfer," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(3), pages 479-510, 07.
  9. Smith, V. Kerry & Osborne, Laura L., 1996. "Do Contingent Valuation Estimates Pass a "Scope" Test? A Meta-analysis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 287-301, November.
  10. James Murphy & P. Allen & Thomas Stevens & Darryl Weatherhead, 2005. "A Meta-analysis of Hypothetical Bias in Stated Preference Valuation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 30(3), pages 313-325, 03.
  11. Sudip Chattopadhyay, 2003. "A Repeated Sampling Technique in Assessing the Validity of Benefit Transfer in Valuing Non-Market Goods," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 79(4), pages 576-596.
  12. Mark Morrison & Jeff Bennett & Russell Blamey & Jordan Louviere, 2002. "Choice Modeling and Tests of Benefit Transfer," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(1), pages 161-170.
  13. H. Spencer Banzhaf & V. Kerry Smith, 2007. "Meta-analysis in model implementation: choice sets and the valuation of air quality improvements," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(6), pages 1013-1031.
  14. Hsiao, Cheng & Li, Qi & Racine, Jeffrey S., 2007. "A consistent model specification test with mixed discrete and continuous data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(2), pages 802-826, October.
  15. Jeffery Racine & Jeffrey Hart & Qi Li, 2006. "Testing the Significance of Categorical Predictor Variables in Nonparametric Regression Models," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(4), pages 523-544.
  16. Daniel J. Henderson & Chris Papageorgiou & Christopher F. Parmeter, 2012. "Growth Empirics without Parameters," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(559), pages 125-154, 03.
  17. Schwertman, Neil C. & Owens, Margaret Ann & Adnan, Robiah, 2004. "A simple more general boxplot method for identifying outliers," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 165-174, August.
  18. Valentina Hartarska & ChristopherF. Parmeter & Denis Nadolnyak & Beibei Zhu, 2010. "Economies Of Scope For Microfinance: Differences Across Output Measures," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(4), pages 464-481, October.
  19. Kevin J. Boyle & Nicolai V. Kuminoff & Christopher F. Parmeter & Jaren C. Pope, 2009. "Necessary Conditions for Valid Benefit Transfers," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1328-1334.
  20. Roy Brouwer & Frank Spaninks, 1999. "The Validity of Environmental Benefits Transfer: Further Empirical Testing," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 14(1), pages 95-117, July.
  21. Tzipi Eshet & Mira Baron & Mordechai Shechter, 2007. "Exploring Benefit Transfer: Disamenities of Waste Transfer Stations," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 37(3), pages 521-547, July.
  22. Jon Nelson & Peter Kennedy, 2009. "The Use (and Abuse) of Meta-Analysis in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: An Assessment," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 42(3), pages 345-377, March.
  23. Ouyang, Desheng & Li, Qi & Racine, Jeffrey S., 2009. "Nonparametric Estimation Of Regression Functions With Discrete Regressors," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(01), pages 1-42, February.
  24. V. Kerry Smith & George Van Houtven & Subhrendu K. Pattanayak, 2002. "Benefit Transfer via Preference Calibration: "Prudential Algebra" for Policy," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 78(1), pages 132-152.
  25. V. Kerry Smith & Yoshiaki Kaoru, 1990. "Signals or Noise? Explaining the Variation in Recreation Benefit Estimates," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 72(2), pages 419-433.
  26. Walsh, Richard G. & Johnson, Donn M. & McKean, John R., 1989. "Issues In Nonmarket Valuation And Policy Application: A Retrospective Glance," Western Journal of Agricultural Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 14(01), July.
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