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Adjusting for Cultural Differences in International Benefit Transfer

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  • Stephen Hynes

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  • Daniel Norton
  • Nick Hanley

Abstract

Values for non-market goods can be expected to be sensitive to variations in the cultural contexts of beneficiaries. However, little progress has been made to date in adapting benefit transfer (BT) procedures for cultural variations. Using information from a study that ranked 62 societies with respect to nine attributes of their cultures, we develop an index that is then used to re-weight multiple coastal ecosystem service value estimates. We examine whether these culturally-adjusted BT estimates are statistically different than simply transferring the income-adjusted mean transfer estimates for each coastal ecosystem service from international study sites to the policy site. We find that once differences in income levels have been accounted for, the differences in cultural dimensions between study and policy sites actually have little impact on the magnitude of our transfer estimates. This is not a surprising result given that the majority of the study site estimates are derived from countries that share many ethnic, linguistic and other cultural similarities to the policy site. However, benefit adjustments based on cultural factors could have a much higher impacts in settings different to that investigated here. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Hynes & Daniel Norton & Nick Hanley, 2013. "Adjusting for Cultural Differences in International Benefit Transfer," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 56(4), pages 499-519, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:56:y:2013:i:4:p:499-519 DOI: 10.1007/s10640-012-9572-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Czajkowski, Mikołaj & Ahtiainen, Heini & Artell, Janne & Meyerhoff, Jürgen, 2017. "Choosing a Functional Form for an International Benefit Transfer: Evidence from a Nine-country Valuation Experiment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 104-113.
    2. Wakita, Kazumi & Shen, Zhonghua & Oishi, Taro & Yagi, Nobuyuki & Kurokura, Hisashi & Furuya, Ken, 2014. "Human utility of marine ecosystem services and behavioural intentions for marine conservation in Japan," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 53-60.
    3. Norton, D. & Hynes, S., 2014. "A Choice Experiment Approach to assess the costs of degradation as specified by the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive," Working Papers 186382, Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit, National University of Ireland, Galway.
    4. Norton, Daniel & Hynes, Stephen, 2015. "Spatial issues arising from a value transfer exercise for environmental quality of marine waters," 150th Seminar, October 22-23, 2015, Edinburgh, Scotland 212663, European Association of Agricultural Economists.

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