The Demand for Spatially Complementary National Parks
Using a panel dataset on annual visits to each U.S. national park, we empirically analyze the demand for these parks using a spatial lag model, which accounts for the complementary nature of the parks. Our results suggest that increases in fuel costs, temperature increases of greater than 3 °F, and restrictions on foreign tourism all lower visitation to U.S. national parks, causing associated decreases in money spent by tourists, jobs created, and income generated. These results can also be used to analyze the possible implications of proposed public policies, such as international visa requirements, gas taxes, and carbon taxing/trading.
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