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Controlling for Observed and Unobserved Site Characteristics in Rum Models of Recreation Demand

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  • Abidoye, Babatunde
  • Herriges, Joseph A.
  • Tobias, Justin

Abstract

�Random Utility Maximization (RUM) models of recreation demand are typically plagued by limited information on environmental and other attributes characterizing the available sites in the choice set. To the extent that these unobserved site attributes are correlated with the observed characteristics and/or the key travel cost variable, the resulting parameter estimates and subsequent welfare calculations are likely to be biased. In this paper we develop a Bayesian approach to estimating a RUM model that incorporates a full set of alternative specific constants, insulating the key travel cost parameter from the influence of the unobserved site attributes. In contrast to estimation procedures recently outlined in Murdock (2006), the posterior simulator we propose (combining data augmentation and Gibbs sampling techniques) can be used in the more general mixed logit framework in which some parameters of the conditional utility function are random. Following a series of generated data experiments to illustrate the performance of the simulator, we apply the estimation procedures to data from the Iowa Lakes Project. In contrast to an earlier study using the same data (Egan \textit{et al.} \cite{eganetal}), we find that, with the addition of a full set of alternative specific constants, water quality attributes no longer appear to influence the choice of where to recreate.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 31559.

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Date of creation: 30 Sep 2010
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Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:31559

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Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
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Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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Keywords: nonmarket valuation; water quality; discrete choice;

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  1. Koop,Gary & Poirier,Dale J. & Tobias,Justin L., 2007. "Bayesian Econometric Methods," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521671736.
  2. Phaneuf, Daniel J. & Kling, Catherine L. & Herriges, Joseph A., 2000. "Estimation and Welfare Calculations in a Generalized Corner Solution Model with an Application to Recreation Demand," Staff General Research Papers 1355, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  3. Steven T. Berry, 1994. "Estimating Discrete-Choice Models of Product Differentiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 242-262, Summer.
  4. Herriges, Joseph A. & Kling, Catherine L. & Phaneuf, Daniel J., 1999. "Corner Solution Models of Recreation Demand: A Comparison of Competing Frameworks," Staff General Research Papers 1513, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  5. Egan, Kevin J. & Herriges, Joseph A. & Kling, Catherine L. & Downing, John A., 2004. "Valuing Water Quality As a Functionof Water Quality Measures," Staff General Research Papers 12210, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  6. Hanemann, W. Michael, 1981. "Water quality and the demand for recreation," CUDARE Working Paper Series 164, University of California at Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Policy.
  7. Murdock, Jennifer, 2006. "Handling unobserved site characteristics in random utility models of recreation demand," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 1-25, January.
  8. Herriges, Joseph A. & Phaneuf, Daniel J., 2002. "Inducing Patterns Correlation and Substitution in Repeated Logit Model of Recreation Demand," Staff General Research Papers 5035, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  9. Jiang, Renna & Manchanda, Puneet & Rossi, Peter E., 2009. "Bayesian analysis of random coefficient logit models using aggregate data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 149(2), pages 136-148, April.
  10. Hanemann, W. Michael, 1981. "Water Quality and the Demand for Recreation," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt1jv1j7d1, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
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Cited by:
  1. Babatunde Abidoye & Joseph Herriges, 2012. "Model Uncertainty in Characterizing Recreation Demand," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 53(2), pages 251-277, October.
  2. Melstrom, Richard & Lupi, Frank, 2012. "Using a Control Function to Resolve the Travel Cost Endogeneity Problem in Recreation Demand Models," MPRA Paper 48036, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised May 2013.

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