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Destination Choice Models for Rock Climbing in the Northeast Alps: A Latent-Class Approach Based on Intensity of Participation

Author

Listed:
  • Riccardo Scarpa

    (University of York)

  • Mara Thiene

    (University of Padua)

Abstract

Practitioners of outdoor sports, such as rock-climbers, are likely to exhibit preference heterogeneity that depends on the ‘keenness’ with which such sports are practiced. Such an intuition is born out in at least one study using latent class discrete choice modelling (Provencher et al. 2002). Preference heterogeneity has a reflection on the population’s structure of recreational values assigned to rock-climbing destinations, to their attributes and ultimately to land management policies addressing such attributes. In this study such hypothesis is tested on a panel of destination choices by a sample of rock-climbers members of the Veneto Chapter of the Italian Alpine Club. Preliminary estimates of latent-class (finite-mixing) specifications provided evidence that intensity of participation explained heterogeneity in taste. This motivated our splitting of the sample in a ‘high’ and a ‘low’ intensity of participation sub-samples, each of which is in turn analysed for the presence of endogenous preference classes using latent-class random utility based approaches. We find evidence in support of the hypothesis that there are at least four statistically well-defined classes in each sub-sample, thereby revealing a considerable richness in the structure of preference, which would otherwise be unobservable in more conventional approaches. From the model estimates, we first focus on the derivation of posterior individual specific welfare measures for some key destination attributes, and then for a welfare neutral land management policy. One emerging feature is the strong evidence of multi-modal distribution of values, a feature that is more difficult to capture when preference heterogeneity is modelled by other means. The results also show how the proposed policy is progressive in terms of benefit distribution in the sample, and that the distribution of individual welfare changes shows markedly different patterns between high and low demand sub-samples.

Suggested Citation

  • Riccardo Scarpa & Mara Thiene, 2004. "Destination Choice Models for Rock Climbing in the Northeast Alps: A Latent-Class Approach Based on Intensity of Participation," Working Papers 2004.131, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2004.131
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Therese C. Grijalva & Robert P. Berrens & Alok K. Bohara & Paul M. Jakus & W. Douglass Shaw, 2002. "Valuing the Loss of Rock Climbing Access in Wilderness Areas: A National-Level, Random-Utility Model," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 78(1), pages 103-120.
    2. Shaw, W. Douglass & Jakus, Paul M., 1996. "Travel Cost Models Of The Demand For Rock Climbing," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 25(2), October.
    3. Bill Provencher & Kenneth A. Baerenklau & Richard C. Bishop, 2002. "A Finite Mixture Logit Model of Recreational Angling with Serially Correlated Random Utility," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(4), pages 1066-1075.
    4. Nick Hanley & Gary Koop & Begoña Álvarez-Farizo & Robert E. Wright & Ceara Nevin, 2001. "Go climb a mountain: an application of recreation demand modelling to rock climbing in Scotland," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 36-52.
    5. W. Douglass Shaw, 2002. "Testing the Validity of Contingent Behavior Trip Responses," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(2), pages 401-414.
    6. Train,Kenneth E., 2009. "Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521747387, May.
    7. Scarpa, Riccardo & Drucker, Adam G. & Anderson, Simon & Ferraes-Ehuan, Nancy & Gomez, Veronica & Risopatron, Carlos R. & Rubio-Leonel, Olga, 2003. "Valuing genetic resources in peasant economies: the case of 'hairless' creole pigs in Yucatan," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 427-443, July.
    8. Kenneth E. Train, 1998. "Recreation Demand Models with Taste Differences over People," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 74(2), pages 230-239.
    9. Boxall, Peter C. & Adamowicz, Wiktor L., 1999. "Understanding Heterogeneous Preferences in Random Utility Models: The Use of Latent Class Analysis," Staff Paper Series 24090, University of Alberta, Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hynes, Stephen & Greene, William, 2011. "Estimating recreation demand with on-site panel data: An application of a latent class truncated and endogenously stratified count data model," Working Papers 148925, Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit, National University of Ireland, Galway.
    2. Riccardo Scarpa & Mara Thiene & Francesco Marangon, 2008. "Using Flexible Taste Distributions to Value Collective Reputation for Environmentally Friendly Production Methods," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 56(2), pages 145-162, June.
    3. Riccardo Scarpa & Kenneth G. Willis & Melinda Acutt, 2004. "Comparing Individual-Specific Benefit Estimates for Public Goods: Finite Versus Continuous Mixing in Logit Models," Working Papers 2004.132, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    4. Ronald Felthoven & William Horrace & Kurt Schnier, 2009. "Estimating heterogeneous capacity and capacity utilization in a multi-species fishery," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 173-189, December.
    5. Hynes, Stephen & Greene, William, 2012. "Panel Travel Cost Count Data Models for On-Site Samples that Incorporate Unobserved Heterogeneity with Respect to the Impact of the Explanatory Variables," Working Papers 148834, Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit, National University of Ireland, Galway.
    6. Meyerhoff, Jürgen & Ohl, Cornelia & Hartje, Volkmar, 2010. "Landscape externalities from onshore wind power," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 82-92, January.
    7. Kuriyama, Koichi & Michael Hanemann, W. & Hilger, James R., 2010. "A latent segmentation approach to a Kuhn-Tucker model: An application to recreation demand," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 209-220, November.
    8. Taglioni, Chiara & Cavicchi, Alessio & Torquati, Biancamaria & Scarpa, Riccardo, 2011. "Influence of Brand Equity on Milk Choice: A Choice Experiment Survey," International Journal on Food System Dynamics, International Center for Management, Communication, and Research, vol. 2(3).
    9. Moore, Rebecca, 2008. "Using Attitudes to Characterize Heterogeneous Preferences," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6488, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    10. Eric Ruto & Guy Garrod & Riccardo Scarpa, 2008. "Valuing animal genetic resources: a choice modeling application to indigenous cattle in Kenya," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 38(1), pages 89-98, January.
    11. Hole, Arne Risa, 2008. "Modelling heterogeneity in patients' preferences for the attributes of a general practitioner appointment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 1078-1094, July.
    12. Ricardo Scarpa & Mara Thiene & Kenneth Train, 2006. "Utility in WTP Space: A Tool to Address Confounding Random Scale Effects in Destination Choice to the Alps," Working Papers in Economics 06/15, University of Waikato.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Travel cost model; Preference heterogeneity; Non-market valuation; Random utility model; Latent class analysis; Rock-climbing; Destination choice modelling;

    JEL classification:

    • Q26 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Recreational Aspects of Natural Resources
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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