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Valuing Environmental Factors in Cost-Benefit Analysis Using Data Envelopment Analysis


  • Timo Kuosmanen

    (MTT Agrifood Research Finland)


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Timo Kuosmanen, 2006. "Valuing Environmental Factors in Cost-Benefit Analysis Using Data Envelopment Analysis," Working Papers 2006.96, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2006.96

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Marjainé, Szerényi Zsuzsanna & Harangozó, Gábor, 2014. "Mennyit ér a zajterhelés csökkenése?. Zajvédelmi intézkedések értékelése a haszonértékelések átvitelével
      [The value of silence. An application of benefit-transfer methodology for evaluating noise-c
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(1), pages 68-91.
    2. Mika Kortelainen & Timo Kuosmanen, 2007. "Eco-efficiency analysis of consumer durables using absolute shadow prices," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 57-69, October.
    3. Kuosmanen, Timo & Bijsterbosch, Neil & Dellink, Rob, 2009. "Environmental cost-benefit analysis of alternative timing strategies in greenhouse gas abatement: A data envelopment analysis approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(6), pages 1633-1642, April.
    4. Welch, Eric & Barnum, Darold, 2009. "Joint environmental and cost efficiency analysis of electricity generation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(8-9), pages 2336-2343, June.
    5. Bosetti, Valentina & Buchner, Barbara, 2009. "Data Envelopment Analysis of different climate policy scenarios," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(5), pages 1340-1354, March.
    6. Kuosmanen, Timo & Kortelainen, Mika & Sipiläinen, Timo & Cherchye, Laurens, 2010. "Firm and industry level profit efficiency analysis using absolute and uniform shadow prices," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 202(2), pages 584-594, April.
    7. Halkos, George & Zisiadou, Argyro, 2016. "Environmental performance index and economic welfare," MPRA Paper 75561, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Zhang, Cheng & Wang, Qunwei & Shi, Dan & Li, Pengfei & Cai, Wanhuan, 2016. "Scenario-based potential effects of carbon trading in China: An integrated approach," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 182(C), pages 177-190.
    9. Kortelainen, Mika, 2008. "Dynamic environmental performance analysis: A Malmquist index approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(4), pages 701-715, February.
    10. repec:spr:envpol:v:20:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10018-017-0182-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Jason West, 2015. "Capital valuation and sustainability: a data programming approach," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 45(3), pages 591-608, October.

    More about this item


    Cost-Benefit Analysis; Data Envelopment Analysis; Eco-Efficiency; Environmental Valuation; Environmental Performance; Performance Measurement;

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects

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