On the specification and interpretation of economic demand models for outdoor recreation Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/j6731588f

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  • The most common method of estimating the economic demand for and value of recreational resources is the Hotelling-Clawson approach. This methodology developed as an empirical technique and was never adequately founded upon a conceptual analysis of the decision to recreate. In response to this lack of a theoretical foundation alternative methodologies have been proposed by Gibbs and Edwards and by Pearse that are based upon explicit and remarkably similar conceptual models of the individual recreationist’s decision to recreate. This thesis explores further the conceptual and emotional issues raised by these alternative methodologies. Following Gibbs and Edwards, and Pearse, it is argued that the length of ay at the site will be determined by the marginal cost of a recreation-day, i.e. on-site costs per day and that travel cost will determine whether or not the trip to the site is taken. But whereas Gibbs and Edwards, and Pearse, do not attempt to explore what determines the marginal cost of a recreation day, it is argued in this thesis that the marginal cost of a recreation-day is a matter of choice. Specifically, the marginal cost of a recreation-day is shown to be dependent upon the allocation of recreation time between consumption time and leisure time. As incomes rise a substitution of consumption time for leisure time takes place and causes the marqinal cost of a recreation-day to rise. Since the marginal cost of a recreation-day is endogenous to income the Gibbs-Edwards approach is misspecified. The Pearse approach is not affected in this respect since it is constructed to allow the marginal cost of a recreation-day to vary according to income class.
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