Title

Modeling Recreation Demand When the Access Point Is Unknown

Campus Units

Economics, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

Document Type

Article

Publication Version

Submitted Manuscript

Publication Date

2-15-2016

Journal or Book Title

American Journal of Agricultural Economics

Volume

98

Issue

3

First Page or Article ID Number

860

Last Page

880

DOI

10.1093/ajae/aav096

Abstract

Not observing where an individual enters a geographically large recreation area complicates the task of modeling recreation demand. Traditionally, analysts have arbitrarily defined distances on the basis of the midpoint of a river or beach segment or on the basis of the nearest access point. In this article, we draw on the aggregation literature to generate a consistent framework for incorporating information on site characteristics and travel costs gathered at a finer level than that used to obtain trip counts. We use Monte Carlo experiments to illustrate the performance of the traditional midpoint and nearest access point approximations. Our results suggest that, while the nearest access point approach often provides a good approximation to underlying preferences, use of the midpoint approach can lead to significant bias in the travel cost parameter and corresponding welfare calculations. Finally, we use our approach to model recreation demand for the major river systems in Iowa using data from the 2009 Iowa Rivers and River Corridors Survey.

JEL Classification

Q50, Q51

Comments

This is a working paper of an article from American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 98(3) 2016; 860-880. Doi: 10.1093/ajae/aav096.