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User fees, equity and the benefits of public outdoor recreation services

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  • Huhtala, Anni
  • Pouta, Eija

Abstract

The paper addresses the question of who benefits from public recreation areas. Employing a set of survey data from users and nonusers of state-owned recreation and conservation areas in Finland, we derive two measures for distributional analysis. The first, the income elasticity of willingness to pay for recreation services, indicates that public provision of recreation benefits lower-income groups more than higher-income groups. The second, a welfare measure including efficiency loss, reveals ambiguous impacts depending on the level of the fee implemented. Low fee levels decrease recreation visits among lower-income users, whereas high fees reduce the welfare level of higher-income users in particular.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Forest Economics.

Volume (Year): 14 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 117-132

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Handle: RePEc:eee:foreco:v:14:y:2008:i:2:p:117-132

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Keywords: Consumer surplus Income Income elasticity Willingness to pay;

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References

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  1. Borcherding, Thomas E & Deacon, Robert T, 1972. "The Demand for the Services of Non-Federal Governments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 891-901, December.
  2. Mattias Boman & Göran Bostedt & Bengt Kriström, 1999. "Obtaining Welfare Bounds in Discrete-Response Valuation Studies: A Non-Parametric Approach," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 75(2), pages 284-294.
  3. Udo Ebert, 2003. "Environmental Goods and the Distribution of Income," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 25(4), pages 435-459, August.
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  5. Bengt Kristrom & Pere Riera, 1996. "Is the income elasticity of environmental improvements less than one?," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 7(1), pages 45-55, January.
  6. Huhtala, Anni, 2004. "What price recreation in Finland? – A contingent valuation study of non-market benefits of public outdoor recreation areas," MPRA Paper 24602, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1991. "Public Provision of Private Goods and the Redistribution of Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 979-84, September.
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  11. Johansson,Per-Olov, 1987. "The Economic Theory and Measurement of Environmental Benefits," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521348102, October.
  12. Horowitz, John K. & McConnell, K. E., 2003. "Willingness to accept, willingness to pay and the income effect," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 537-545, August.
  13. Espey, Molly, 2005. "Implementation of Recreation Fees by the U.S. Forest Service: 1996-2002," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19389, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  14. Cosslett, Stephen R, 1983. "Distribution-Free Maximum Likelihood Estimator of the Binary Choice Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(3), pages 765-82, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Huhtala, Anni, 2010. "Income effects and the inconvenience of private provision of public goods for bads: The case of recycling in Finland," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(8), pages 1675-1681, June.
  2. Louinord Voltaire & Abdelhak Nassiri & Denis Bailly & Jean Boncoeur, 2011. "Effet d’une taxe et d’un droit d’entrée sur les consentements à payer des touristes pour de nouvelles réserves naturelles dans le golfe du Morbihan," Review of Agricultural and Environmental Studies - Revue d'Etudes en Agriculture et Environnement, INRA Department of Economics, vol. 92(2), pages 183-209.
  3. Anni Huhtala & Eija Pouta, 2009. "Benefit Incidence of Public Recreation Areas—Have the Winners Taken Almost All?," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 43(1), pages 63-79, May.

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