International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics > Vol 12 > Issue 2-3

Benefit Transfer of Environmental and Resource Values: Progress, Prospects and Challenges

Robert J. Johnston, Clark University, USA, , John Rolfe, CQ University Rockhampton, Australia, , Ewa Zawojska, University of Warsaw, Poland,
Suggested Citation
Robert J. Johnston, John Rolfe and Ewa Zawojska (2018), "Benefit Transfer of Environmental and Resource Values: Progress, Prospects and Challenges", International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics: Vol. 12: No. 2-3, pp 177-266.

Publication Date: 28 Nov 2018
© 2018 R. J. Johnston, J. Rolfe and E. Zawojska
Environmental Economics,  Environmental Economics:Contingent Valuation,  Environmental Economics:Endangered Species,  Environmental Economics:Environmental Health Risks,  Choice Modeling,  Economic Theory
JEL Codes: Q51Q57Q58
Benefit transferenvironmentmeta-analysisnon-marketvaluevaluation


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In this article:
1. Introduction 
2. Milestones in Benefit Transfer Research 
3. Benefit Transfer Methods: Consensus and Questions for Best Practice 
4. Advancing Benefit Transfer Methods: Progress, Challenges and Frontiers 
5. Is Benefit Transfer Research Meeting Practitioner Needs? 
6. Future Prospects for Research and Practice 


This article summarizes the current state and future prospects for benefit transfer of environmental and resource values. Benefit transfer is the use of pre-existing empirical estimates from primary studies at one or more sites or contexts where research has been conducted to predict welfare estimates such as willingness to pay at other, typically unstudied sites or contexts. We orient the discussion around theory, methods and practice, focusing on progress, challenges and frontiers in the literature since the review of Johnston and Rosenberger (2010, Journal of Economic Surveys). The article begins with a brief history of benefit transfer and a summary of areas in which there is methodological consensus. It then presents questions regarding the approaches most likely to promote valid and reliable transfers, and recent research to address these questions. We conclude with an examination of the gap between research and practice, and a discussion of future prospects and research needs.