In the scientific literature the noise external costs are generally valuated in association of transport sources of noise. Case studies usually refer to specific situations, because it’s very difficult to obtain reliable data on people exposure to noise. In literature studies applying all kinds of possible methodologies may be found: from edonic pricing (loss of value for real estates exposed to persistent noise sources), to abatement cost method (the cost of anti noise barriers), to contingent valuation (willingness to pay by exposed persons to benefit from noise reduction measures).
Results of the different methods may vary significantly. But this doesn’t mean that available methods are equivalent and fit to noise external costs valuation. First of all, under an impact pathways approach noise may produce non only simple disamenity but even health effects and illnesses. Epidemiological studies demonstrate that persistent noise sources may be responsible for an increase of pressure and heart attack risk. The knowledge and application of the best and updated dose-response function on health effects of noise is a condition for the quality of the valuation process.

The main health effects considered in noise external cost valuation are:
- heart attack (fatal or non fatal)
- angina pectoris (non fatal)
- hypertension
- effects associated to sleeping difficulties

The economic valuation phase requests the application of selected damage values to the main health and non health impacts. Values obtained in a certain study may be transferred to another country by adopting proper transfer criteria and context parameters. Benefit transfer approach requests for an in depth knowledge on methods and basic assumptions of case studies.

© 2006 - Andrea Molocchi