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2.3. Monetized Benefits

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Environmental Economics Research at EPA


Among the techniques for monitizing benefits are market transactions for the commodity of interest (where markets exist), damage functions, indirect methods based on market transactions (such as hedonic property value analysis, travel cost methods, and analyses of referenda), direct methods (contingent valuation, conjoint analysis, and contingent ranking), and benefits transfer (applying monetary values computed for a study area to a policy area).

There are several surveys of the state of the art available. Perhaps the most comprehensive is Freeman (1993). A more recent survey limited to non-market valuation techniques is Smith (1996).

One study that embodies many techniques is Valuation Of Reductions In Human Health Symptoms And Risks Volume 1 Executive Summary (EE-0092A) by Tolley, Babcock et al., which summarizes a large, 1986 study valuing mortality and morbidity reductions, that is the last link in the benefits chain. The document encompasses cost of illness, household (health) production functions, hedonic property value and contingent value studies.

Methods Development for Environmental Control Benefits Assessment, Volume III, Five Studies on Non-Market Valuation Techniques (EE0278C) by Brookshire, Schulze, d’Arge, Crocker, Gerking, and Thayer (1985) compares hedonic property studies, survey or contingent value studies and hedonic wage differential studies for purposes of validation. The authors report satisfaction with all approaches.

You can see the full list of reports corresponding to this section in the benefits analysis - valuation subview of the subject view of the Environmental Economics Report Inventory (EERI) database and of the corresponding research projects in the benefits analysis - valuation subview of the subject view of the EPA/NSF Research Funding database.


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