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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 10: Using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to Estimate and Transfer Recreational Demand Functions

Ian J. Bateman, Andrew A. Lovett and Julie S. Brainard


Ian J. Bateman, Andrew A. Lovett, Julie S. Brainard and Andrew P. Jones 1. INTRODUCTION Spatial variation, as a key concept underlying much of economics, has been discovered (Hotelling, 1929) and frequently rediscovered in mainstream economics (for example Case, 1991; Fujita et al., 1999). Indeed, economic analyses of recreational demand are, by their very nature, intimately concerned with space. However, these analyses are frequently naïve regarding the incorporation of the spatial dimension within studies. This chapter examines the contribution which Geographical Information Systems, or GIS as they are more usually known, can make in assisting economists to consider the true complexities of space within travel cost analyses of both the value of outdoor, open-access recreation, and in estimating and transferring functions predicting such values and the number of people likely to arrive at any given set of recreational sites. Because many readers may be unfamiliar with GIS the chapter begins by presenting an introductory overview of such systems and their functionality, focussing in particular upon their applicability to studies of recreation demand. We then discuss the usefulness of GIS in estimating economic measures of the unpriced benefits of open-access recreation. This consideration is then extended to consider the potentially substantial improvements which GIS may afford to benefit transfer analyses. Here we develop a methodology for transferring both valuation and ‘arrivals functions’. Finally our concluding remarks highlight certain limitations of this approach. 191 192 Forests 2. GIS: DEFINITION, DATA AND FUNCTIONALITY A GIS can be defined...

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