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Measuring the Willingness to Pay for Fresh Water Cave Diving


  • William L. Huth
  • O. Ashton Morgan


Fresh water springs are unique natural resources that are contained within public lands across the United States. Natural resource management on public lands generates many interesting policy issues as the competing goals of conservation, recreational opportunity provision, and revenue generation often clash. As demand for recreational cave diving sites increases, the paper provides natural resource site managers with the first statistical estimate of divers’ willingness to pay to dive fresh water cave and cavern systems. Using a contingent valuation model approach and correcting for hypothetical bias, we find that divers’ median willingness to pay for cave diving opportunities at the site of interest is approximately $68 per dive. Model results also provide evidence of diver sensitivity with respect to scope as individuals are willing to pay more for dives that are higher in quality. Key Words: Contingent Valuation Model; Willingness to Pay; Cave Diving; Scope Sensitivity

Suggested Citation

  • William L. Huth & O. Ashton Morgan, 2009. "Measuring the Willingness to Pay for Fresh Water Cave Diving," Working Papers 09-21, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:apl:wpaper:09-21

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    JEL classification:

    • Q26 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Recreational Aspects of Natural Resources
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects

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