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Valuing Beach Access and Width with Revealed and Stated Preference Data


  • John C. Whitehead
  • Christopher F. Dumas
  • Jim Herstine
  • Jeffery Hill
  • Bob Buerger


In this paper we present results from a study of recreation demand of southern North Carolina beaches. We combine revealed preference and stated preference data in order to estimate the changes in recreation demand that might occur with beach nourishment and parking improvements necessary to satisfy the requirements for US Army Corps of Engineers cost-share. We illustrate the numerous ways that hypothetical bias in contingent behavior data can lead to increases in the estimates of the economic benefits of recreation and recreation quality improvement. Hypothetical bias affects the number of trips and slope coefficients. Hypothetical bias does not affect elasticity or consumer surplus per trip estimates. When the product of trips and consumer surplus per trip is taken to estimate consumer surplus per season, hypothetical bias leads to upwardly biased seasonal consumer surplus estimates. These results suggest that stated preference recreation demand data, in isolation, is suitable for estimation of consumer surplus per trip but not consumer surplus per season.

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  • John C. Whitehead & Christopher F. Dumas & Jim Herstine & Jeffery Hill & Bob Buerger, 2006. "Valuing Beach Access and Width with Revealed and Stated Preference Data," Working Papers 06-15, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:apl:wpaper:06-15

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John C. Whitehead & Subhrendu K. Pattanayak & George L. Van Houtven & Brett R. Gelso, 2008. "Combining Revealed And Stated Preference Data To Estimate The Nonmarket Value Of Ecological Services: An Assessment Of The State Of The Science," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(5), pages 872-908, December.
    2. Frederick W. Bell, 1986. "Economic Policy Issues Associated With Beach Renourishment," Review of Policy Research, Policy Studies Organization, vol. 6(2), pages 374-381, November.
    3. Whitehead, John C. & Haab, Timothy C. & Huang, Ju-Chin, 2000. "Measuring recreation benefits of quality improvements with revealed and stated behavior data," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 339-354, October.
    4. Kenneth E. McConnell, 1977. "Congestion and Willingness to Pay: A Study of Beach Use," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 53(2), pages 185-195.
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    Cited by:

    1. Landry, Craig E. & Liu, Haiyong, 2009. "A semi-parametric estimator for revealed and stated preference data--An application to recreational beach visitation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 205-218, March.

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    JEL classification:

    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects

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