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An Individual Travel‐Cost Method Of Evaluating Forest Recreation


  • K. G. Willis
  • G. D. Garrod


Consumer surplus for outdoor recreation has traditionally been estimated by a Clawson‐Knetsch travel‐cost method. This paper presents zonal consumer‐surplus estimates for visitors to a number of forests and compares these estimates to those derived from individual visitor observations. Both travel‐cost procedures are used to assess the magnitude of recreational benefits and are found to produce widely different consumer‐surplus estimates. This raises questions about research methodology and has implications for the value of recreation associated with forestry and its contribution to the rate of return on forest investment.

Suggested Citation

  • K. G. Willis & G. D. Garrod, 1991. "An Individual Travel‐Cost Method Of Evaluating Forest Recreation," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(1), pages 33-42, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jageco:v:42:y:1991:i:1:p:33-42
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1477-9552.1991.tb00330.x

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cicchetti, Charles J & Fisher, Anthony C & Smith, V Kerry, 1976. "An Econometric Evaluation of a Generalized Consumer Surplus Measure: The Mineral King Controversy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(6), pages 1259-1276, November.
    2. Christine Seller & John R. Stoll & Jean-Paul Chavas, 1985. "Validation of Empirical Measures of Welfare Change: A Comparison of Nonmarket Techniques," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 62(2), pages 156-175.
    3. Jack L. Knetsch, 1963. "Outdoor Recreation Demands and Benefits," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(4), pages 387-396.
    4. Burt, Oscar R & Brewer, Durward, 1971. "Estimation of Net Social Benefits from Outdoor Recreation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(5), pages 813-827, September.
    5. Morey, Edward R., 1985. "Characteristics, consumer surplus, and new activities : A proposed ski area," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 221-236, March.
    6. Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132-132.
    7. Elizabeth J. Strong, 1983. "A Note on the Functional Form of Travel Cost Models with Zones of Unequal Populations," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 59(3), pages 342-349.
    8. William G. Brown & Farid Nawas, 1973. "Impact of Aggregation on the Estimation of Outdoor Recreation Demand Functions," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 55(2), pages 246-249.
    9. Jens B. Christensen & Colin Price, 1982. "A Note on the Use of Travel Cost Models with Unequal Zonal Populations: Comment," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 58(3), pages 395-399.
    10. Donald H. Rosenthal, 1987. "The Necessity for Substitute Prices Recreation Demand Analyses," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 69(4), pages 828-837.
    11. William G. Brown & Colin Sorhus & Bih-lian Chou-Yang & Jack A. Richards, 1983. "Using Individual Observations to Estimate Recreation Demand Functions: A Caution," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 65(1), pages 154-157.
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