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Market Failures and the Rationale for National Parks

  • Robert W. Turner

America's national park system is widely admired, but the economic rationale for national parks is not compelling. The author discusses how market failures of various kinds can, in principle, be used to justify national parks. The best rationale for national parks is based on existence or nonuse values rather than on their recreational aspects. The author also shows that more evidence, especially regarding the costs of providing and operating parks and the magnitude of nonuse values, needs to be gathered before the case for national parks becomes compelling. Although this evidence will be difficult to obtain, it is hard to give an economic rationale for national parks without it.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/00220480209595332
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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal The Journal of Economic Education.

Volume (Year): 33 (2002)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 347-356

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:33:y:2002:i:4:p:347-356
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