Estimating The Value Of Recreation On The Snake River Reservoirs Using A Disequilibrium Travel Cost Model
Demand for outdoor recreation was analyzed at four Lower Snake River reservoirs for the purposes of measuring willingness-to-pay for outdoor recreation trips. Data were collected with a single mailing survey using a list of names and addresses collected from recreationists at the reservoirs during May through October, 1997. The survey resulted in 408 usable responses. Outdoor recreation demand was estimated using a disequilibrium labor market travel cost model that assumed recreationists did not (or could not) give up earnings in exchange for more free time for outdoor recreation. The travel cost demand model related outdoor recreation trips (from home to site) per year by groups of recreationists to the dollar costs of the trip, to the time costs of the trip, to the prices on substitute or complementary trip activities, and other independent variables. The dollar cost of the trip was based on reported travel distances from home to site times the average observed cost of $0.202/mile for a car divided by the average party size (4.87) yielded 4.12 cents per mile per recreationist. Trips per year to the reservoirs, the dependent variable was estimated using a truncated negative binomial regression. Consumer surplus was estimated at $71.31 per person per trip. The average number of outdoor recreation trips per year from home to the Lower Snake River Reservoirs was 8.364, resulting in an average annual willingness-to-pay of $596 per person. After adjusting for non-response bias the annual willingness to pay for recreation at the reservoirs exceeded $31 million.
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