Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp 365–387 | Cite as

Making Benefit Transfers Work: Deriving and Testing Principles for Value Transfers for Similar and Dissimilar Sites Using a Case Study of the Non-Market Benefits of Water Quality Improvements Across Europe

  • I. J. Bateman
  • R. Brouwer
  • S. Ferrini
  • M. Schaafsma
  • D. N. Barton
  • A. Dubgaard
  • B. Hasler
  • S. Hime
  • I. Liekens
  • S. Navrud
  • L. De Nocker
  • R. Ščeponavičiūtė
  • D. Semėnienė


We implement a controlled, multi-site experiment to develop and test guidance principles for benefits transfers. These argue that when transferring across relatively similar sites, simple mean value transfers are to be preferred but that when sites are relatively dissimilar then value function transfers will yield lower errors. The paper also provides guidance on the appropriate specification of transferable value functions arguing that these should be developed from theoretical rather than ad-hoc statistical approaches. These principles are tested via a common format valuation study of water quality improvements across five countries. While this provides an idealised tested, results support the above principles and suggest directions for future transfer studies.


Non-market valuation Stated preference Benefit transfers Transfer errors Methodology Water quality 

JEL Classification

Q51 Q15 Q26 Q24 Q28 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. J. Bateman
    • 1
  • R. Brouwer
    • 3
  • S. Ferrini
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Schaafsma
    • 1
  • D. N. Barton
    • 4
  • A. Dubgaard
    • 5
  • B. Hasler
    • 6
  • S. Hime
    • 1
  • I. Liekens
    • 7
  • S. Navrud
    • 8
  • L. De Nocker
    • 7
  • R. Ščeponavičiūtė
    • 9
  • D. Semėnienė
    • 9
  1. 1.Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment (CSERGE), School of Environmental SciencesUniversity of East AngliaNorwichUK
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Economia PoliticaUniversità di SienaSienaItaly
  3. 3.Department of Environmental Economics, Institute for Environmental StudiesVU UniversityAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Norwegian Institute for Nature ResearchOsloNorway
  5. 5.Institute of Food and Resource EconomicsUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  6. 6.National Environmental Research Institute (NERI)Aarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark
  7. 7.Flemish Institute for Technological ResearchBoeretangBelgium
  8. 8.Department of Economics and Resource ManagementNorwegian University of Life SciencesAasNorway
  9. 9.Center for Environmental PolicyVilniusLithuania

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