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The economic benefits of recreation in Canada

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  • Patrick Lloyd‐Smith

Abstract

Canadians spend approximately 2.2% of the country's gross domestic product on outdoor recreation, but we do not yet know the economic benefits people receive from participating in these activities. I provide the first ever comprehensive assessment of the economic benefits of outdoor recreation in Canada. I use a nationally representative survey of recreational behaviour on over 24,000 Canadians to estimate a Kuhn–Tucker demand model that accounts for substitution between activities and satiation in demand. The results demonstrate that participation in outdoor recreation provides Canadians with $98 billion in annual economic benefits, which is well over twice as large as reported expenditures. I also reveal substantial heterogeneity in recreation benefits across activities and regions in Canada. Bénéfices économiques des loisirs récréatifs au Canada. Les dépenses des Canadiens en matière de loisirs récréatifs de plein air représentent environ 2,2 % du produit intérieur brut du pays; néanmoins, les avantages économiques pour ceux qui les pratiquent restent ignorés. Dans cet article, je propose la toute première évaluation globale des bénéfices économiques liés à la pratique de loisirs récréatifs de plein air au Canada. Les données d’une enquête représentative à l’échelle nationale relative aux habitudes récréatives de plus de 24 000 Canadiens me permettent d’estimer un modèle de demande de type Kuhn‐Tucker tenant compte à la fois des possibilités de substitution entre les activités et de la satisfaction de la demande. Les résultats montrent que pour les Canadiens, les bénéfices économiques liés à la pratique d’activités récréatives de plein air s’élèvent à 98 milliards de dollars par an, soit bien plus du double des dépenses déclarées. En outre, je montre qu’en matière d’avantages liés aux loisirs récréatifs, il existe une hétérogénéité substantielle d’une activité et d’une région à une autre.

Suggested Citation

  • Patrick Lloyd‐Smith, 2021. "The economic benefits of recreation in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 54(4), pages 1684-1715, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:canjec:v:54:y:2021:i:4:p:1684-1715
    DOI: 10.1111/caje.12560
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