, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 79-100

Meta-Analytic Benefit Transfer of Outdoor Recreation Economic Values: Testing Out-of-Sample Convergent Validity

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Abstract

A benefit transfer approach to recreationeconomic valuation using meta-analysis isexamined. Since the meta- regression modeltakes into account some of the study specificeffects on willingness to pay (WTP) estimates,benefit transfer using meta-analysis couldyield a valid WTP estimate of unstudiedrecreation resources. The convergent validityof the meta-analytic benefit transfer is testedusing out-of-sample original studies from theU.S. The analyses are performed usingpercentage difference, paired t-test,regression and correlation tests. The testsreveal mixed results on convergence betweenestimated WTP using meta-analytic benefittransfer function (BTF) and out-of-sampleoriginal WTP values. There is a fairly highpercentage difference between the estimated andoriginal WTP values (80–88%), and the meandifferences are statistically significant asshown by paired t-tests. However, correlationand regression results consistently showsignificant positive relationships betweennational BTF estimated and original WTP valuesindicating some level of convergence. Theresults show that the national BTF outperformthe regional BTF indicating a potential of thenational BTF for recreation benefit transferwhen a “first best” primary valuation study isnot affordable.