Benefits of Quality Changes in Recreational Fishing: A Single-Site Travel cost Approach
John C. Whitehead
AbstractThis study extends the travel cost literature on valuing quality improvements by measuring the benefits of improved quality in a single-site recreation demand model. Measures of exogenous recreation quality are used instead of the more typically used endogenous measures. Recreation demand for freshwater fishing on the Tar-Pamlico River in North Carolina is specified to depend on access price, income, and expected recreation quality. Variation in expected recreation quality is found from predictions of a catch rate regression model. The number of fishing trips decreases with increases in travel and time costs and increases with increases in recreation quality. Changes in consumer surplus from quality changes are estimated using the individual variation in quality and estimates of recreation benefits.
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