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Institute of

WF Forestry


Database on Environmental benefit valuation studies of forests

Update of a database on valuation studies about environmental benefits of European forests

The economic valuation of non-market goods provided by forests is an important though small issue in the field of environmental economics. Still, some cadre of valuation studies has accumulated in the German speaking countries since about 1990. How can this pool become better available for a national as well as an international public?

Background and Objective

In order to make the available studies better accessible both nationally and internationally, several small projects gather all available valuation studies in a meta-database. Ultimately, the database will be expanded to a pan-European data source.


So far, the existing studies from the German language area (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) are completely covered until 2016. These studies are described by about 40 descriptors (the exact number depending on the specific valuation method used in the respective study). These descriptors present details of the valuation object, the statistical and economic methods applied, the results of the valuation exercise, some other descriptors for study quality, and the associated publications.


By October 2016, the bibliography contains 77 distinct ’data sets’ (each represented by one row in the database) from 45 different ’studies’, which are associated to 78 publications. The majority
of data sets are from Germany (48), followed by Switzerland (17) and Austria (12). Regarding the valuation methods applied, it becomes apparent that stated preference methods dominate
clearly: the most often used valuation method is contingent valuation (43 data sets), in another 15 data sets discrete choice experiments have been applied. Valuation methods relying on
revealed preferences, e.g., visits to specific forests, have less often been used in the three countries; only 17 data sets were generated using the travel cost method. Further, only two benefit transfer studies focusing on forests in our target region are available.

Links and Downloads

Involved external Thünen-Partners

List of Publications

  1. 0

    Elsasser P, Meyerhoff J, Weller P (2016) An updated bibliography and database on forest ecosystem service valuation studies in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Braunschweig: Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, 20 p, Thünen Working Paper 65, DOI:10.3220/WP1479222082000


    11.2015 - 1.2016

    More Information

    Project status: finished

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