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Context Similarity and the Validity of Benefits Transfer: Is the Common Wisdom Correct?

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  • Johnston, Robert J.

Abstract

Choice experiments are designed to account for variations in environmental resources and site characteristics, as well as potential implications of these variations for willingness to pay. This may render choice experiment results highly suitable for benefits transfer. It is unclear, however, whether the flexibility of choice experiments renders the similarity of study and transfer sites less critical for transfer validity. Drawing from identical choice experiments conducted in different Rhode Island communities, this model assesses the extent to which error in function-based benefits transfer is related to the similarity of communities across a variety of observable dimensions. Results suggest that site similarity, at least across some dimensions, influences the validity of choice experiment benefits transfers. However, the use of some measures of similarity as indicators of transfer error may provide misleading results.

Suggested Citation

  • Johnston, Robert J., 2006. "Context Similarity and the Validity of Benefits Transfer: Is the Common Wisdom Correct?," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21221, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea06:21221
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Wiktor Adamowicz & Peter Boxall & Michael Williams & Jordan Louviere, 1998. "Stated Preference Approaches for Measuring Passive Use Values: Choice Experiments and Contingent Valuation," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(1), pages 64-75.
    2. Robert J. Johnston & Stephen K. Swallow & Timothy J. Tyrrell & Dana Marie Bauer, 2003. "Rural Amenity Values and Length of Residency," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(4), pages 1000-1015.
    3. Johnston, Robert J. & Weaver, Thomas F. & Smith, Lynn A. & Swallow, Stephen K., 1995. "Contingent Valuation Focus Groups: Insights from Ethnographic Interview Techniques," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(01), pages 56-69, April.
    4. McConnell, K. E., 1990. "Models for referendum data: The structure of discrete choice models for contingent valuation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 19-34, January.
    5. Johnston, Robert J. & Swallow, Stephen K. & Bauer, Dana Marie & Anderson, Christopher M., 2003. "Preferences for Residential Development Attributes and Support for the Policy Process: Implications for Management and Conservation of Rural Landscapes," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 32(1), April.
    6. Yong Jiang & Stephen Swallow & Michael Mcgonagle, 2005. "Context-Sensitive Benefit Transfer Using Stated Choice Models: Specification and Convergent Validity for Policy Analysis," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 31(4), pages 477-499, August.
    7. Mark Morrison & Jeff Bennett, 2004. "Valuing New South Wales rivers for use in benefit transfer," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 48(4), pages 591-611, December.
    8. Adamowicz, Wiktor L. & Boxall, Peter C. & Williams, Michael & Louviere, Jordan, 1995. "Stated Preference Approaches for Measuring Passive Use Values: Choice Experiments versus Contingent Valuation," Staff Paper Series 24126, University of Alberta, Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology.
    9. John C. Bergstrom & Paul Civita, 1999. "Status of Benefits Transfer in the United States and Canada: A Review," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 47(1), pages 79-87, March.
    10. W. Michael Hanemann, 1984. "Welfare Evaluations in Contingent Valuation Experiments with Discrete Responses," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 66(3), pages 332-341.
    11. 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.
    12. Ram Shrestha & John Loomis, 2003. "Meta-Analytic Benefit Transfer of Outdoor Recreation Economic Values: Testing Out-of-Sample Convergent Validity," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 25(1), pages 79-100, May.
    13. 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.
    14. Robert J. Johnston & Elena Y. Besedin & Richard Iovanna & Christopher J. Miller & Ryan F. Wardwell & Matthew H. Ranson, 2005. "Systematic Variation in Willingness to Pay for Aquatic Resource Improvements and Implications for Benefit Transfer: A Meta-Analysis," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 53(2-3), pages 221-248, June.
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    Consumer/Household Economics;

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