Recreation Benefits of U.S. Parks
Kaval, P. (2007). Recreation Benefits of U.S. Parks. (Department of Economics Working Paper Series, Number 12/07). Hamilton, New Zealand: University of Waikato.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/1613
Over 90 percent of people living in the United States participate in some type of outdoor recreation, from walking the dog to rock climbing. These activities increase a person’s well-being and are examples of recreation benefits. These benefits can be measured by using a variety of available techniques to calculate consumer surplus values. Consumer surplus values for recreation in U.S. parks were collated from an extensive literature review. Studies conducted between 1967 and 2003 yielded over 1,200 observations of non-market benefits. From this meta-analysis, it was determined that an average day of recreation in U.S. parks provide people with a non-market benefit of $60.50/day (2006 US$). With an estimated 924 million visitor days, the benefit of outdoor recreation on federal park lands during 2006 was estimated at $54.7 billion dollars. This analysis did not include state, county, and city parks, and hence the total benefit of outdoor recreation in all U.S. parks would be significantly higher.
Department of Economics
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