Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD)
Modifiable Area Unit Problem (MAUP)
Contingent Valuation Method (CVM)
This paper uses a combination of the contingent valuation method (CVM) and value transfer (VT) to estimate the value of non-market benefits associated with the achievement of good (marine) environmental status (GES) as specified in the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) for Atlantic member states. The increased use of geographic information systems in VT means that many VT exercises now include spatial elements such as distance decay and population density. This paper explores impact of distance decay on welfare estimates as well as the impact from the modifiable area unit problem (MAUP) when population density is included as an explanatory variable. These issues can have a large effect on a VT estimate. In this study the overall value for achieving GES for Atlantic member states varied between e2.37billion and e3.64 billion. It was found that the different distance decay specifications changed values between - 3% and 82% with a mean absolute difference of 25% and by adjusting the spatial scale in an effort to overcome the MAUP changed aggregate values between 13% and 25% with a mean of 17%.