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Recreation Benefit Estimation in Theory and Practice: A Comment on Imperfect Methods

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While some of the criticism of the travel-cost method of estimating benefits of outdoor recreation is without basis, serious problems of utility or disutility of travel, joint visitation, and data deficiencies do limit accuracy of the estimates. This method is nevertheless a considerable improvement over the current practice of using arbitrary unit-day values as approximations of users' average willingness to pay. Replacement of unit-day values with travel-cost and survey-valuation techniques will yield more accurate estimates and encourage needed refinements in data and methodology.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Brookings Economic Policy Fellow, U.S. Department of the Interior

Publication date: January 1, 1980

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  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
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