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

  • Huhtala, Anni
  • Pouta, Eija

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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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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  1. Flores, Nicholas E. & Carson, Richard T., 1995. "The Relationship Between the Income Elasticities of Demand and Willingness to Pay," 1995 Conference (39th), February 14-16, 1995, Perth, Australia 148795, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
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  12. Teasley, R. Jeff & Bergstrom, John C. & Cordell, H. Ken, 1994. "Estimating Revenue-Capture Potential Associated With Public Area Recreation," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 19(01), July.
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  15. 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.
  16. 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.
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  18. 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).
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