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A combinatorial optimisation approach to non-market environmental benefit aggregation

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  • Hanley, Nicholas
  • Hynes, Stephen
  • O'Donoghue, Cathal

Abstract

This paper considers the use of spatial microsimulation in the aggregation of regional environmental benefit values. The developed spatial microsimulation model uses simulated annealing to match the Irish Census of Agriculture data to a Contingent Valuation Survey that contains information on Irish farmers' willingness to pay (WTP) to have the corncrake restored as a common sight in the Irish countryside. We then use this matched farm survey and Census information to produce regional and national total WTP figures, and compare these to figures derived using more standard approaches to calculating aggregate environment benefit values. The main advantage of the spatial microsimulation approach for environmental benefit value aggregation is that it allows one to account for the heterogeneity in the target population. Results indicate that the microsimulation modelling approach provides aggregate WTP estimates of a similar magnitude as those produced using the usual sample mean WTP aggregation at the national level, but yields regional aggregate values which are significantly different.

Suggested Citation

  • Hanley, Nicholas & Hynes, Stephen & O'Donoghue, Cathal, 2008. "A combinatorial optimisation approach to non-market environmental benefit aggregation," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2008-08, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:stl:stledp:2008-08
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/506
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kevin J. Boyle & F. Reed Johnson & Daniel W. McCollum, 1997. "Anchoring and Adjustment in Single-Bounded, Contingent-Valuation Questions," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1495-1500.
    2. Bateman, Ian J. & Day, Brett H. & Georgiou, Stavros & Lake, Iain, 2006. "The aggregation of environmental benefit values: Welfare measures, distance decay and total WTP," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 450-460, December.
    3. John B. Loomis, 1987. "Expanding Contingent Value Sample Estimates to Aggregate Benefit Estimates: Current Practices and Proposed Solutions," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 63(4), pages 396-402.
    4. 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.
    5. R. K. Blamey & J. W. Bennett & M. D. Morrison, 1999. "Yea-Saying in Contingent Valuation Surveys," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 75(1), pages 126-141.
    6. V. Kerry Smith, 1993. "Nonmarket Valuation of Environmental Resources: An Interpretive Appraisal," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 69(1), pages 1-26.
    7. Kevin J. Boyle & F. Reed Johnson & Daniel W. McCollum & William H. Desvousges & Richard W. Dunford & Sara P. Hudson, 1996. "Valuing Public Goods: Discrete versus Continuous Contingent-Valuation Responses," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 72(3), pages 381-396.
    8. Cameron, Trudy Ann & Huppert, Daniel D., 1989. "OLS versus ML estimation of non-market resource values with payment card interval data," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 230-246, November.
    9. P Williamson & M Birkin & P H Rees, 1998. "The Estimation of Population Microdata by Using Data from Small Area Statistics and Samples of Anonymised Records," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 30(5), pages 785-816, May.
    10. Reza Daniels & Sandrine Rospabé, 2005. "Estimating an Earnings Function from Coarsened Data by an Interval Censored Regression Procedure," Working Papers 05091, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
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    Keywords

    Environmental benefit value; aggregation spatial microsimulation; willingness to pay; corncrake conservation;

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