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Benefit Transfer for Environmental Improvements in Coastal Areas: General versus Best-Fitting Models
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Environmental Strategies.
2013 (English)In: Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics-Revue Canadienne D'Agroeconomie, ISSN 0008-3976, E-ISSN 1744-7976, Vol. 61, no 2, 239-258 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Recognizing the important policy task of securing the benefits from marine coastal waters subject to time and funding constraints has increased interest in benefit transfer (BT). However, many of the advances in BT recommended by researchers would be too costly to implement. This paper presents two choice experiment (CE) studies on marine areas in Sweden where respondents from local and distant populations were surveyed. BT for attributes relevant to the European Union's Water Framework Directive and the implementation of special consideration zones in marine areas were evaluated by equivalence tests. A comparison of the performance between a general BT model including only easily available socio-economic information and a statistically best-fitting model that requires the collection of more detailed information shows very similar results. Using a general model saves money and time since the information needed can be easily obtained from public databases and it does not lead to any significant reductions in accuracy or reliability. The issue of including socio-economic information in CE modeling for BT is important, since the model specification will determine the type of information that must be collected at the policy site; however, the results are inconclusive as to whether it improves BT or not. La reconnaissance de l'importante tache politique visant a proteger les avantages tires des eaux marines cotieres, exposee a des contraintes de temps et de financement, suscite un interet accru pour le transfert d'avantages (TA). Toutefois, la mise en OEuvre d'un bon nombre des percees en matiere de TA recommandees par les chercheurs serait trop couteuse. Dans le present article, nous presentons deux etudes sur des zones marines de la Suede realisees selon la methode des choix multi-attributs et auxquelles ont participe des repondants provenant de populations locales et eloignees. Le TA dans le cas d'attributs figurant dans la Directive-cadre sur l'eau de l'Union europeenne et la determination de zones necessitant une prise en compte particuliere au sein des zones marines ont ete evalues a l'aide de tests d'equivalence. Une comparaison de la performance du modele de TA << general >>, qui comprend uniquement des donnees socio-economiques facilement obtenables, et de celle du modele de TA << optimal >>, qui comprend une collecte de donnees detaillees, montre des resultats tres similaires. L'utilisation du modele general permet d'economiser du temps et de l'argent puisque l'information requise est facilement accessible dans les bases de donnees publiques, sans diminution significative de la precision ou de la fiabilite. La question d'inclure des donnees socio-economiques dans le modele de choix multi-attributs pour le TA est importante puisque que la specification du modele determinera le type de donnees qu'il faut collecter sur l'endroit vise par la politique. Toutefois, les resultats ne permettent pas d'indiquer si le TA est ameliore ou non.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 61, no 2, 239-258 p.
National Category
Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-124281DOI: 10.1111/cjag.12010ISI: 000319346900006ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84878187128OAI: diva2:634947
Swedish Environmental Protection Agency

QC 20130702

Available from: 2013-07-02 Created: 2013-06-28 Last updated: 2016-10-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The monetary value of marine environmental change
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The monetary value of marine environmental change
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The marine ecosystems are fundamental for human welfare. A number of current environmental pressures need attention, and the formulation of management strategies requires information from a variety of analytical dimensions. The linkage between environmental change and resulting implications for human welfare is one such dimension.

This thesis presents studies on welfare implications from hypothetical future policies which improve the state of the marine environment. The method for these studies is economic valuation. The studied scenarios concern eutrophication in the Baltic Sea (including the Kattegat) and oil spill risk from shipping in the Lofoten-Vesterålen area in the Arctic Barents Sea. The thesis shows that the economic benefits from undertaking policies to improve or protect the marine environment in these cases are substantial and exceed the costs of taking measures.

In addition to providing new monetary estimates, the thesis also provides new insights concerning 1) what type of scenario to use when valuing an environmental improvement and 2) whether there may exist trade-offs between precision in estimates and the level of ambition with respect to survey instrument complexity and econometric models when conducting valuation studies. The findings suggest an end of an era for studies in which the environmental change is unspecified or based on a single environmental indicator while the actual consequences of the suggested measures are more multifaceted. In contrast, relevant scenarios to study are well-specified and holistic. The thesis further reveals that it might not always be worth the effort to go for the most advanced scenario presentation or statistically best-fitting model specifications. This is something that needs to be further discussed among practitioners in order to allocate valuation resources wisely and not waste resources on unnecessarily elegant valuation studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. 85 p.
Contingent valuation, choice experiment, benefits transfer, cost-benefit analysis, ecosystem services, eutrophication, oil spills, Baltic Sea, Arctic
National Category
Research subject
Planning and Decision Analysis
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-193727 (URN)978-91-7729-148-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-11-08, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Sing-Sing, våningsplan 2, KTH Campus, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)

QC 20161011

Available from: 2016-10-11 Created: 2016-10-10 Last updated: 2016-10-11Bibliographically approved

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