Handbook of Environmental and Resource Economics
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Handbook of Environmental and Resource Economics

Edited by Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh

This major reference book comprises specially commissioned surveys in environmental and resource economics written by an international team of experts. Authoritative yet accessible, each entry provides a state-of-the-art summary of key areas that will be invaluable to researchers, practitioners and advanced students.
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Chapter 52: Recreation Demand Models for Environmental Valuation

C.L. Kling and J.R. Crooker


Cutherine L. Kling and John R. Crooker 1. Introduction Empirical models of the demand for environmental services using observations on the cost of accessing an environmental site have commonly been referred to as ‘travel cost models’ (as the costs of travel to the site are often a major component of acquiring environmental services).The origin of the term and methodology are credited to Hotelling in a now much-heralded letter to the Park Service. The first empirical work is due to such pioneers as Clawson (1959)’ Clawson and Knetsch (1966) and Cesario and Knetsch (1976). Whereas the use of the term ‘travel cost’ once implied a standard model, there is now a diverse array of alternative modelling approaches that use travel costs as the price. ‘Indirect methods’, ‘recreation demand models’ and ‘travel cost models’ have all been used to describe this set. In a review of approaches to valuing recreational goods, Bockstael et al. (1991) reserve the term ‘travel cost model’ to mean continuous demand models where the number of trips a recreationist takes in a season is modelled to depend on price and possibly income, quality of the recreation sites, and other socioeconomic characteristics. In contrast to continuous models which focus on the decision of how often to visit a particular site each season are the discrete choice approaches. These models follow the tradition of McFadden’s random utility models which focus on the individual’s decision of which recreation site to visit on any given choice occasion. The individual visits...

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