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The New Economics of Outdoor Recreation

Edited by Nick Hanley, W. Douglass Shaw and Robert E. Wright

This innovative book presents a series of up-to-date analyses of the economics of outdoor recreation. The distinguished group of authors covers real-world recreation management issues and applies economic understanding to these problems. An extensive introduction by the editors details the historical background of economists’ interests in this subject, and reveals how economics can provide practical insights into improving how we manage our natural recreation areas.
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Chapter 4: Valuing Recreational Resources using Choice Experiments: Mountaineering in Scotland

Nick Hanley and Robert E. Wright


Nick Hanley and Robert E. Wright 1. INTRODUCTION The inability to place monetary values (prices) on goods and services that are not bought and sold in the market makes it difficult (if not impossible) to use economic theory to guide decisions related to their allocation. Pricing is important – it conveys information about relative values, which can then be used in decisions over the appropriate level of supply of such public goods. Numerous approaches have been developed which aim to collect information about non-traded goods and service through indirect means. Broadly speaking, the methods developed fall into two categories. The first involves inferring values for public goods through related markets, and thus relying on revealed preferences. The second category, which we focus on in this chapter, relies instead on constructed or hypothetical markets. These approaches can be termed ‘stated preference’ methods, with the Contingent Valuation Method (CVM) and Choice Modelling (CM) currently being the most popular in applied work. This chapter is concerned with investigating the potential of choice experiments for modelling the demand for recreation. More specifically, the data that we examine are based on a survey of mountaineers and climbers in Scotland, with the recreational activity in question being technical climbing (the data was collected in the same survey used by Hanley, Alvarez-Farizo and Shaw in Chapter 3 of this volume). Mountaineering and climbing are increasingly popular sports in Scotland. Figures from Highlands and Islands Enterprise suggest that 767000 mountaineers from the UK visited the Highlands and...

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