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Modeling Recreation Site Choice: Do Hypothetical Choices Reflect Actual Behavior?


  • Haener, Michel K.
  • Boxall, Peter C.
  • Adamowicz, Wiktor L.


This study examines the ability of revealed preference (RP), site-specific stated preference (SP), transferred SP, and various joint RP-SP models to predict aggregate and individual recreation site choice behavior in a holdout sample. For two statistical comparisons, the site-specific RP model provided the most accurate predictions of individual choices. However, the transferred SP model, applied directly or estimated jointly with the RP data, performed best in three aggregate and one individual prediction tests and second best in the other individual prediction comparisons. In every test examined the transferred SP models outperformed the site-specific SP models. This result is traced to the method used to collect the hypothetical choice data (mail out vs. in-person settings) and illustrates the importance of data quality in accuracy of behavioral prediction. These findings suggest that data from well designed and conducted SP surveys from one site can be combined with site-specific RP data from another site to generate improved models of recreation site choice.

Suggested Citation

  • Haener, Michel K. & Boxall, Peter C. & Adamowicz, Wiktor L., 2000. "Modeling Recreation Site Choice: Do Hypothetical Choices Reflect Actual Behavior?," Staff Paper Series 24124, University of Alberta, Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:ualbsp:24124

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