Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Meta-Analytical Estimates of Values of Environmental Services Enhanced by Government Agricultural Conservation Programs
by Borisova-Kidder, Ayuna, Ph.D., The Ohio State University, 2006, 202; 10835739
Abstract (Summary)

There are growing needs and interest in obtaining generalized non-market value estimates in today's research world. Meta-analysis techniques have been explored by economists as a potential basis of policy analysis conducted by various government agencies in the area of natural resources. This research originated as an attempt to contribute to a broader estimation of benefits from USDA conservation programs and used meta-analysis to generalize empirical value estimates of three major groups of environmental services: wetlands, improvements in surface water quality and terrestrial habitat.

The valuation context for welfare estimates of the effects from government agricultural conservation programs is complex. Programs create various effects that change the flow of services which can be valued in terms of welfare estimates and virtual prices. For example, wetland restoration programs can result in improved floodwater control which provides reduced flood damage. It creates environmental benefit of avoided flood damage which is valuable to people.

This study reports a meta-analysis of more than 30 US valuation studies estimating wetland value per acre, a meta-analysis of more than 40 US valuation studies estimating willingness to pay per household per year for improvements in surface water quality, and a meta-analysis of 11 US valuation studies estimating benefit per acre for terrestrial habitat services. Results indicate that mean value per acre of wetland services is $262.43 (in 2003 US dollars). American household's annual mean willingness to pay associated with surface water quality change is $102.51. Benefit per acre of terrestrial habitat is estimated to average $130.32.

One of our main criticisms of meta-analysis is that it can obscure important information when it includes only averaged numerical representations from primary valuation studies, estimated means are treated as deterministic, and no distinction is made between study means based on smaller and larger number of observations. This research employs a technique to simulate data used for calculation of averaged representations in wetland contingent valuation studies. Simulation can become an attractive technique of meta-analysis as it expands degrees of freedom and due to differences in sample size and precision of estimates can improve meta-analytical estimates.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Randall, Alan
School: The Ohio State University
Department: Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 79/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Agricultural economics
Keywords: Cvm, Meta-analytical, Valuation, Water quality, Wetlands, Wtp
Publication Number: 10835739
ISBN: 978-0-355-96720-3
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