Modeling the demand for outdoor recreation


  • Robert Mendelsohn


This paper critically reviews several of the new methodologies developed in the last 10 years to model the demand for recreation. There are three competing approaches to modeling heterogeneous recreation sites: partitioning, hedonic, and index models. Partitioning involves grouping sites into small homogeneous sets and treating each set as a unique good (multiple-site travel cost models). Hedonic involves disaggregating goods into their component characteristics and modeling the prices and demands for the characteristics (hedonic property value and the hedonic travel cost method). The index models involve measuring choices among limited alternatives using an index of characteristics (generalized travel cost, gravity, and discrete choice models). Although much work has been done on each method, limitations are noted with each approach, and additional research needs are identified.