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Project Description

Benefit Transfer: An Alternative for primary environmental evaluation studies?

An empirical study concerning the forecast quality of national and international transfers of
environmental evaluation studies; description of bias sources as well as measures for their

The implementation of monetary environmental valuation studies requires considerable
expenses of time and limited public budgets. Benefit Transfer is considered to be a useful
alternative by transferring the benefit values of an original study to a similar study in order to
make a forecast about likely changes of the welfare.
Benefit Transfer is in use for many years. The aim of this paper is to analyze the forecast
quality of benefit transfer by measuring the statistical validity of benefit transfer with assumed
changes in accuracy.Besides the evaluation of published valuation studies own empirical results will be discussed in the paper, that, in contrast to former studies, carries out a quality research of national as well as international transfer in a single study. This allows a direct comparison of validity and accuracy.

The own study is based on two contingent valuation studies that analyzed the willing to pay for
an improvement in water quality at two different water sites in Germany under almost identical
conditions. The questionnaire as well as the chosen water sites resembled two Norwegian
studies, to make an international benefit transfer possible. Three different types of benefit
transfer were subject of the examination: direct benefit transfer, adjusted benefit transfer and
benefit function transfer. The tested hypothesis assumed that the mean willing to pay
respectively the coefficients of the benefit function are equal. The results of the tests are
inconsistent. The hypothesis of a valid international benefit transfer had to be rejected in every
case whereas the national benefit transfer within Germany could be accepted for the advanced
types adjusted benefit transfer and benefit function transfer. However concessions have to be
made with a tolerated accuracy of 40%-60%. The rejected hypothesis of international benefit transfer can be explained with the unusual benefit values in the Norwegian studies. Similar studies that were accomplished in Norway showed that the willingness to pay is considerably smaller. Further reasons for the bias of national and international benefit transfer might be undiscovered independent variables.

Start Date: June 1999 End Date: May 2002
Duration: 36 months Status: concluded
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Karin Holm-Müller
Funding: Stiftung der Deutschen Wirtschaft (Foundation of the German Economy)
Cooperations: University of Rostock, PD Dr. Hans Eidinger
Contact Person: Dipl.-Ing. Thilo Muthke


  • Muthke,T. (2002): Benefit-Transfer: eine Alternative zur primären Umweltbewertung? Eine empirische Untersuchung zur Prognosequalität nationaler und internationaler Nutzenwertübertragungen. FAA, Forschungsges. für Agrarpolitik und Agrarsoziologie, Bonn.

  • Holm-Müller, K., Muthke, T. (2001): Aktueller Einsatz und Perspektiven der Nutzen-Kosten-Untersuchung zur Vorbereitung von Investitionsentscheidungen in der Wasserwirtschaft, in: Zeitschrift für Umweltpolitik & Umweltrecht 3/2001, S. 455-473

  • Muthke, T. (2001): Benefit Transfer: Eine Alternative zur primären Bewertung von Umwelt- und Freizeitgütern? In: Ökonomische Bewertung von Umweltgütern -Methodenfragen zur Kontingenten Bewertung und praktische Erfahrungen im deutschsprachigen Raum-. Hrsg. Elsasser, P. und Meyerhoff, J., Metropolis Verlag, Marburg, S. 269-290.

  • Muthke, T. (1999): Ökonomische Bewertung von Abwasserentsorgungsvarianten im ländlichen Raum, Rostocker Agrar- und Umweltwissenschaftliche Beiträge.

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 01, 2017