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Abstract

Environmental research has been increasing due to growing diverse environmental concerns regarding sustainability, climate change, natural resource depletion, waste management, and air and noise pollution. Economic valuation of environmental research can assist in guiding research planning and expenditure. Yet environmental research is difficult to evaluate due to the dominance of non-market benefits and difficulties identifying tangible outputs and outcomes from research. This paper attempts to apply an existing valuation framework to an empirical case study to examine the difficulties and limitations of economic valuations of environmental research. In the empirical case study environmental research and other technical and managerial inputs were used to develop a policy output. Policy implementation will result in environmental outcomes with subsequent economic benefits. The primary purpose of this paper is to explore the complexities and limitations of valuing environmental research, in particular the counterfactual and uncertainty. Section 2 outlines the generic framework for valuing environmental research. Section 3 describes the valuation method used in this empirical analysis. Section 4 provides background to the case study and applies the chosen method to value the environmental research. The limitations encountered during the assessment are highlighted in Section 5, and Section 6 concludes with final comments regarding economic valuations of environmental research.

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