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Destination Choice Models for Rock Climbing in the Northeast Alps: A Latent-Class Approach Based on Intensity of Participation

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  • Riccardo Scarpa

    (University of York)

  • Mara Thiene

    (University of Padua)

Abstract

Practitioners of outdoor sports, such as rock-climbers, are likely to exhibit preference heterogeneity that depends on the ‘keenness’ with which such sports are practiced. Such an intuition is born out in at least one study using latent class discrete choice modelling (Provencher et al. 2002). Preference heterogeneity has a reflection on the population’s structure of recreational values assigned to rock-climbing destinations, to their attributes and ultimately to land management policies addressing such attributes. In this study such hypothesis is tested on a panel of destination choices by a sample of rock-climbers members of the Veneto Chapter of the Italian Alpine Club. Preliminary estimates of latent-class (finite-mixing) specifications provided evidence that intensity of participation explained heterogeneity in taste. This motivated our splitting of the sample in a ‘high’ and a ‘low’ intensity of participation sub-samples, each of which is in turn analysed for the presence of endogenous preference classes using latent-class random utility based approaches. We find evidence in support of the hypothesis that there are at least four statistically well-defined classes in each sub-sample, thereby revealing a considerable richness in the structure of preference, which would otherwise be unobservable in more conventional approaches. From the model estimates, we first focus on the derivation of posterior individual specific welfare measures for some key destination attributes, and then for a welfare neutral land management policy. One emerging feature is the strong evidence of multi-modal distribution of values, a feature that is more difficult to capture when preference heterogeneity is modelled by other means. The results also show how the proposed policy is progressive in terms of benefit distribution in the sample, and that the distribution of individual welfare changes shows markedly different patterns between high and low demand sub-samples.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2004.131.

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Date of creation: Nov 2004
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2004.131

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Related research

Keywords: Travel cost model; Preference heterogeneity; Non-market valuation; Random utility model; Latent class analysis; Rock-climbing; Destination choice modelling;

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References

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  1. Boxall, Peter C. & Adamowicz, Wiktor L., 1999. "Understanding Heterogeneous Preferences in Random Utility Models: The Use of Latent Class Analysis," Staff Paper Series 24090, University of Alberta, Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology.
  2. Kenneth Train, 2003. "Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation," Online economics textbooks, SUNY-Oswego, Department of Economics, number emetr2, January.
  3. Nick Hanley & Gary Koop & Begoña Álvarez-Farizo & Robert E. Wright & Ceara Nevin, 2001. "Go climb a mountain: an application of recreation demand modelling to rock climbing in Scotland," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 36-52.
  4. Therese C. Grijalva & Robert P. Berrens & Alok K. Bohara & Paul M. Jakus & W. Douglass Shaw, 2002. "Valuing the Loss of Rock Climbing Access in Wilderness Areas: A National-Level, Random-Utility Model," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 78(1), pages 103-120.
  5. Bill Provencher & Kenneth A. Baerenklau & Richard C. Bishop, 2002. "A Finite Mixture Logit Model of Recreational Angling with Serially Correlated Random Utility," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(4), pages 1066-1075.
  6. Kenneth E. Train, 1998. "Recreation Demand Models with Taste Differences over People," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 74(2), pages 230-239.
  7. Shaw, W. Douglass & Jakus, Paul M., 1996. "Travel Cost Models Of The Demand For Rock Climbing," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 25(2), October.
  8. W. Douglass Shaw, 2002. "Testing the Validity of Contingent Behavior Trip Responses," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(2), pages 401-414.
  9. Scarpa, Riccardo & Drucker, Adam G. & Anderson, Simon & Ferraes-Ehuan, Nancy & Gomez, Veronica & Risopatron, Carlos R. & Rubio-Leonel, Olga, 2003. "Valuing genetic resources in peasant economies: the case of 'hairless' creole pigs in Yucatan," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 427-443, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ricardo Scarpa & Mara Thiene & Francesco Marangon, 2007. "Using flexible taste distributions to value collective reputation for environmentally-friendly production methods," Working Papers in Economics 07/24, University of Waikato, Department of Economics.
  2. Hynes, Stephen & Greene, William, 2011. "Estimating recreation demand with on-site panel data: An application of a latent class truncated and endogenously stratified count data model," Working Papers 135171, Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit, National University of Ireland, Galway.
  3. Moore, Rebecca, 2008. "Using Attitudes to Characterize Heterogeneous Preferences," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6488, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  4. Arne Risa Hole, 2007. "Modelling Heterogeneity in Patients' Preferences for the Attributes of a General Practitioner Appointment," Working Papers 022cherp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
  5. Eric Ruto & Guy Garrod & Riccardo Scarpa, 2007. "Valuing Animal Genetic Resources: A Choice Modeling Application to Indigenous Cattle in Kenya," Working Papers in Economics 07/05, University of Waikato, Department of Economics.
  6. Riccardo Scarpa & Kenneth G. Willis & Melinda Acutt, 2004. "Comparing Individual-Specific Benefit Estimates for Public Goods: Finite Versus Continuous Mixing in Logit Models," Working Papers 2004.132, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  7. Hynes, Stephen & Greene, William, 2012. "Panel Travel Cost Count Data Models for On-Site Samples that Incorporate Unobserved Heterogeneity with Respect to the Impact of the Explanatory Variables," Working Papers 148834, Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit, National University of Ireland, Galway.
  8. Taglioni, Chiara & Cavicchi, Alessio & Torquati, Biancamaria & Scarpa, Riccardo, 2011. "Influence of Brand Equity on Milk Choice: A Choice Experiment Survey," International Journal on Food System Dynamics, International Center for Management, Communication, and Research, vol. 2(3).
  9. Ronald G. Felthovan & William C. Horrace & Kurt E. Schnier, 2006. "Estimating Heterogeneous Capacity and Capacity Utilization in a Multi-Species Fishery," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 86, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
  10. Ricardo Scarpa & Mara Thiene & Kenneth Train, 2006. "Utility in WTP Space: A Tool to Address Confounding Random Scale Effects in Destination Choice to the Alps," Working Papers in Economics 06/15, University of Waikato, Department of Economics.

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