Explaining Variation in the Value of Chesapeake Bay Water Quality Using Internal Meta-analysis

US EPA, National Center for Environmental Economics / by Heather Klemick, Charles Griffiths, Dennis Guignet, Patrick Walsh
http://yosemite.epa.gov/ee/epa/eed.nsf/WPNumber/2015-04

This study conducts a meta-analysis of the value of water quality in the Chesapeake Bay derived from separate hedonic property value estimates in 14 Maryland counties. The meta-analysis allows us to: 1) investigate heterogeneity of estimates of the value of water clarity across counties based on socioeconomic and ecological factors, 2) understand the implication of econometric specification choices made in the original hedonic equations for benefit estimates, and 3) transfer the benefits out-of-sample to Bayfront counties in Washington, DC, Delaware, Virginia, and four additional counties in Maryland. We also investigate the in-sample and out-of-sample predictive power of different transfer strategies and find that a simpler unit value transfer can outperform more complex function transfers. The results illustrate both the usefulness of meta-analysis and the challenges of benefit transfer even when estimates being transferred represent a common geographic area, environmental attribute, and policy instrument.

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