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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 8: Spatial Distribution versus Efficiency Effects of Forest Recreation Policies Using a Regional Travel Cost Model

W. George Hutchinson, Riccardo Scarpa and Susan M. Chilton


8. Spatial distribution versus efficiency effects of forest recreation policies using a regional travel cost model W. George Hutchinson, Riccardo Scarpa, Susan M. Chilton and Trevor McCallion 1. INTRODUCTION While efficiency concerns dominate and have motivated much of the valuation literature based on travel cost modelling, distribution issues are often ignored. However, depending on management objectives, distribution issues may be deemed of similar relevance to, or even greater relevance than, total benefit estimation. The objective of this chapter is to explore the equity effects of a set of management policies for forest recreation using a conventional individual travel cost approach. In particular, we explore distribution issues of welfare changes derived from a stylised travel cost model of participation and site choice for forest recreation. Since the seminal work by Bockstael et al. (1987) a variety of specifications for individual travel cost models (TCM) have been developed. Destination choices decisions are often analysed by means of models based on the well established random utility interpretation of McFadden’s (1974) multinomial (conditional) logit model (MNL). Typically, these are employed to estimate the probability of the individual choosing a given destination conditional on socio-economic variables of the visiting party, and on a set of site choice attributes, including the cost of the trip. For this category of models the effects of changes in the choice set attributes on population welfare measures are well understood. The spatial distribution of benefits across trip origin districts can also be...

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