Recognizing the critical importance of benefit transfer and the breadth of associated scholarly and policy work, this book has been designed to provide a comprehensive review of transfer methods, issues, and challenges, covering topics relevant to both researchers and practitioners across different continents. Among the primary themes of the book is the availability of a range of rigorous transfer methods suitable for broad application, choices between these methods, and implications of these choices for transfer validity and reliability (or accuracy). We target a wide audience, including undergraduate and graduate students, practitioners in economics and other disciplines looking for a one-stop handbook covering benefit transfer topics, and others who wish to apply or evaluate benefit transfer methods. Early chapters provide accessible introductory and “how to” materials suitable for those with little economic training. These chapters also detail how benefit transfer is used within the policy process. Later chapters cover intermediate and advanced topics better suited to valuation researchers, graduate students, and those with similar knowledge of economic and statistical theory, concepts, and methods. While no single volume can provide all relevant information on a topic, our intent is for this book to provide the most complete coverage of benefit transfer methods available in a single location.
Always a good start. Flatter me with Dr. and you'll get my attention.
My name is [redacted so his friends don;t make fun of him] and I am a junior at the University of [southern state] majoring in Economics with a minor in FIlm Studies.
Film studies? Really? I watched a lot of movies in college, but I didn't know I could get credit for it.
A couple of weeks ago I decided to e-mail all of the department heads at U[SS] with one question: What is a book (fiction or non-fiction) you would recommend to college students to broaden their thinking and light an intellectual spark?
'Broaden their thinking and light an intellectual spark?' Bwahahahahahahahaha...
I loved the responses I got so I decided to expand the project a bit. The book does not have to necessarily have to be related to your field of expertise. I am just very curious to see the answers that will be produced from a group of highly educated people with a diverse group of interests.
Oh, you're serious.
OK, here goes (yes, this was my response):
Great and interesting question. I am going to give your question more thought, but I wanted to send you my initial reaction (I often tell my kids and students to trust their instincts, so I might as well trust mine). I know many people might respond to your question with a book that will attempt to sway students to their way of thinking. I simply don’t think that way. My goal as an educator is to expand a students’ way of thinking. My hope is that students will use their knowledge to find new paths, for themselves and for others. The goal of education should not be to teach everyone to think the way everyone has always thought, but rather to teach people to think in new ways; respectful, but not beholden to the thoughts of their predecessors.
I can think of no book that lays this out better than ‘Oh, the Places You’ll Go,’ by Dr. Seuss.
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.”
Time to update the encyclopedia (don't follow that link unless you can stomach self-promotion):
Tropical forests store huge amounts of carbon. When their trees are cut or burned, the carbon is eventually released into the atmosphere, mixing with oxygen to form the long-lasting greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. The pace of deforestation is so great today that it accounts for an estimated 12 to 15 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions annually.
Economic forces drive this destruction — for timber, rangeland, mining and development. But there is also a powerful economic argument for preservation. Forests’ carbon reserves can be monetized and sold as offsets to greenhouse gas emitters who need them to comply with regulatory emissions limits, or who voluntarily want to reduce their carbon footprint.
These offsets typically are sold by utilities or other industrial companies that have reduced their emissions below a government-imposed cap. The offsets equal the emissions below the cap; their price is determined by supply and demand. The buyers are companies whose emissions are above the cap; the offsets are subtracted from their excess emissions, enabling them to avoid penalties. There is also a voluntary market where companies and individuals buy offsets to reduce their carbon footprint. The revenue is used to finance energy efficiency and other projects to reduce emissions.
These markets are booming, with trades each year in the tens of billions of dollars. But a potential pool of offsets has been largely left off the table — offsets that represent carbon emissions avoided by not destroying tropical forests. These were difficult to value because there was no way to accurately quantify the carbon savings. Nor were there reliable, transparent systems to ensure these forests would remain standing or that proceeds would be returned to local communities.
For those reasons, the European Union, which has the world’s largest system for trading carbon offsets, has not allowed offsets for what’s known as avoided deforestation. Other carbon markets, like the one run by the California Air Resources Board, are considering it.
The objections are now being addressed. In recent years, accurate and inexpensive techniques have been developed to quantify and verify carbon emissions that would be avoided by not destroying forests. Credible mechanisms for indemnifying offset credits (meaning, an acre of forest will always be protected even if the specific acre behind the credit is destroyed) and returning the proceeds from the sale of the offsets to local communities have also been devised. A new system that combines all of those components and biodiversity conservation, known as the Rainforest Standard, which we and 60 other scientists, lawyers and businesspeople have developed, is now being tested in South America to safeguard a 1.6-million-acre forest. ...
The Rainforest Standard’s underlying principle is that emission reductions must be permanent to justify credit revenues, and reductions will not be permanent unless economic benefits flow fairly to all local forest users and owners, who would otherwise have no stake in their permanence.
At the risk of biting a hand that fed me a tiny morsel, here's an interesting take on the Amazon/Hachette book fight. To me, the interesting piece here is the question of value-added. What value does the publisher add to the publishing process?
In the traditional book purchasing paradigm, when a reader bought a book at the store there were two separate layers of middlemen taking a cut of the cash before money reached the author: a retailer and a publisher. The publisher, in this paradigm, was doing very real work as part of the value-chain. A typed and printed book manuscript looks nothing like a book. Transforming the manuscript into a book and then arranging for it to be shipped in appropriate quantities to physical stores around the country is a non-trivial task. What's more, neither bookstore owners nor authors have any expertise in this field.
Short story: When I wrote my first book in 2002 (actually wrote it from 1995-2001--you can still purchase a copy here) I was surprised to learn that: 1) We had to submit a camera ready copy of our book, and 2) we had almost no control over the price that would be charged. On 1), the publisher added no value--no content, no editing, no nothing. On 2), we digned what we were told at teh time was the standard contract, with 5% royalties. I have no idea if that was standard; we might have been really bad negotiators. The book originally sold for $100. Somehow, buyers were paying an extra $95 for...what? A nice cover? A little marketing? For a first book, the marketing was probably pretty valuable. But, for the next book I write (whenever that might be), I'm thinking I am just going to post the .pdf to a password secured website and sell passwords for $10. Sure, I risk piracy, but is that risk really going to be $90 per book? At $10 per book, everyone is better off--except the publisher.
Back to the story--which kinda makes my point.
Digital publishing is not like that. Transforming a writer's words into a readable e-book product can be done with a combination of software and a minimal amount of training. Book publishers do not have any substantial expertise in software development, but Amazon and its key competitors (Apple, Google, and the B&B/Microsoft partnership) do.
Publishers would like writers to believe that the pressure they are feeling from Amazon will trickle down and hurt authors as well. But there is a big difference. Even in the brave new world of e-publishing, authors are still making a crucial contribution to the industry by writing the books. Publishers are getting squeezed out because they don't contribute anything of value.
One thing missing from this argument is that publisher do add value in terms of editing, screening and signaling to readers. Getting a book published requires passing some threshold of quality. Publishers can judge whether a book will sell. This gives readers a signal that someone thinks the book is worth reading. Unfortuantely, because publishers/editors are not typically subject matter experts, these signals are very noisy. What a publisher thinks will sell is not necessarily a valuable contribution from teh readers' perspective. Once a book is published, the cleaner signal is word-of-mouth--do readers value the contribution of the book?
I just previewed Stated Preference Methods Using R by Aizaki, Nakatani and Sato.The A-P Sounds data that Tim, Ju-Chin Huang and myself used to get to know each other better is provided with the book and used as an example. Here is the double bounded Turnbull:
Here is the endorsement I wrote for the book:
There are a number of very expensive statistical packages that can be used to analyze stated preference data. R is free so it is wonderful for teaching undergraduate students and others who don’t have access to expensive packages. Aizaki, Nakatani and Sato have provided a valuable reference book for stated preference researchers and teachers who want to use R. I used the book to install R and the contingent valuation package in a few minutes. I was estimating CVM models soon afterwards. I’m especially excited that the package contains an easy to use nonparametric willingness to pay estimator that is superior to the spreadsheet methods I’ve been using for years. The package includes very well known (Exxon Valdez) and less well known (Albemarle-Pamlico) contingent valuation data. These data allow the user to play around with the package and compare results to what has been published in the literature. This book is an ideal reference for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in environmental valuation.
I stopped sending my env-econ.net posts to my facebook account (I'm sure some of my facebook friends get annoyed by them ... some "friends", right?). The link for our blog site is here: https://www.facebook.com/environmentalecon. I *think* all of our posts are arriving via RSS Graffiti (if anyone knows of a better way to do it please let me know).
We are pleased to announce that the third Edition of "The Measurement of Environmental and Resource Values: Theory and Methods" by A. Myrick Freeman III, Joseph A. Herriges, and Catherine L. Kliong has now been published. For details, see:
This is a beautifully written book, as good as the original Freakonomics.
My favorite parts were the discussion of the Japanese hot dog eater Kobayashi and his training/learning regime, why van Halen had the “no brown M&Ms” clause in its contract, and why Nigeriam spam scammers tell you they are from Nigeria.
You also can get the real story (or at least part of the real story) of how the authors helped the British authorities identify terrorist money laundering.
In view of the cost of money transmission, we normally carry forward amounts of less than $25 to the next royalty date. However, if you wish to receive the small amount now due before then, kindly ring the contact number show on this statement.
"This blog aims to look at more of the microeconomic ideas that can be used toward environmental ends. Bringing to bear a large quantity of external sources and articles, this blog presents a clear vision of what economic environmentalism can be."
Don't believe what they're saying
And allow me a quick moment to gush: ... The env-econ.net blog was more or less a lifeline in that period of my life, as it was one of the few ways I stayed plugged into the env. econ scene. -- Anonymous
... the Environmental Economics blog ... is now the default homepage on my browser (but then again, I guess I am a wonk -- a word I learned on the E.E. blog). That is a very nice service to the profession. -- Anonymous
"... I try and read the blog everyday and have pointed it out to other faculty who have their students read it for class. It is truly one of the best things in the blogosphere." -- Anonymous