Review of benefit transfer studies in the forest context

Non-timber benefits (NTBs) are increasingly being compared with timber values in the crafting of multifunctional forest policies. Since most NTBs are non-marketable goods, special valuation methods are developed for their evaluation. Due to cost and time requirements, it is neither feasible nor desirable to conduct primary valuation studies in each policy relevant case. As an alternative, the benefit transfer (BT) approach is used to transfer benefits estimated by previous studies in a similar context to the policy context of interest. We take stock of the growing literature applying BT techniques for NTBs, to answer two main questions: How have BT methods been used to date in the forest context? What are the main lessons from NTBs transfers? We found 12 studies dealing with BT between forest sites and a few others in which forest sites were among other analyzed environmental resources. The majority of them transferred recreation benefits using the BT function based either on contingent valuation or travel costs estimations. They mainly focused on four areas: physical attributes of forests, time aspects, methodological improvements to increase the estimated accuracy and reduce surveys costs. Our results get closer to answering the question of “how and under what circumstances can NTBs be reliably transferred?”

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Scandinavian Forest Economics: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Scandinavian Society of Forest Economics
2008, Number 42
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