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Measuring the Economic Effects of Sea Level Rise on Beach Recreation

  • John C. Whitehead
  • Ben Poulter
  • Christopher F. Dumas
  • Okmyung Bin

We develop estimates of the economic effects of climate change-induced sea level rise on recreation at seventeen southern North Carolina beaches. We estimate the relationship between recreation behavior and beach width and simulate the effects of sea level rise on recreation site choice and trip frequency. We find that reductions in beach width due to increased erosion from sea-level rise negatively affect the number and value of beach recreation trips. For beach goers who only take day trips, we estimate that four percent of recreation value is lost in 2030 and 11 percent is lost in 2080. For those who take both day and overnight trips, 16 percent and 34 percent of recreation value is lost in 2030 and 2080, respectively. The present value of the lost recreation value through 2080 assuming no increase in population or income is $9 billion, $4 billion and $722 million with 0 percent, 2 percent and 7 percent discount rates. With expected increases in population and income the present value of the lost recreation value is $29 billion, $11 billion and $2 billion with 0 percent, 2 percent and 7 percent discount rates. Key Words: coastal recreation, travel cost method, climate change, sea level rise

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File URL: http://econ.appstate.edu/RePEc/pdf/wp0911.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Appalachian State University in its series Working Papers with number 09-11.

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Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:apl:wpaper:09-11
Contact details of provider: Postal: Thelma C. Raley Hall, Boone, North Carolina 28608
Phone: 828-262-2148
Fax: 828-262-6105
Web page: http://www.business.appstate.edu/departments/economics/

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  1. John Loomis & Robert Richardson, 2006. "An external validity test of intended behavior: Comparing revealed preference and intended visitation in response to climate change," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(4), pages 621-630.
  2. Parsons, George R. & Jakus, Paul M. & Tomasi, Ted, 1999. "A Comparison of Welfare Estimates from Four Models for Linking Seasonal Recreational Trips to Multinomial Logit Models of Site Choice," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 143-157, September.
  3. Richardson, Robert B. & Loomis, John B., 2004. "Adaptive recreation planning and climate change: a contingent visitation approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1-2), pages 83-99, September.
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