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Consumptive Nature-based Recreation in the United States: Welfare Measures from Truncated and Untruncated Count Data Models
In the context of a recent controversy over the trend in nature-based recreation demand, this paper estimates the demand for and welfare value of consumptive nature-based recreation (CNR) in the United States and examines if this value changed between 1996 and 2006. Demand is estimated using the travel cost model framework and the standard, truncated and zero-inflated count data models. The hypothesis that the demand for CNR trips was identical in the two sample years is rejected. Although total participation declined between 1996 and 2006, results suggest that aggregate welfare value of CNR, in 2006 constant dollars, was higher in 2006. An important unresolved issue regarding inconsistencies in welfare measures from truncated and untruncated count data models is also addressed in this paper. Larger welfare estimates are obtained from the untruncated models. This result is robust across different combinations of truncated and untruncated models and the two sample years.
Recreation demand; Travel cost model; Negative binomial count model; Chow test; Consumer surplus
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