SIZE MATTERS: THE ECONOMIC VALUE OF BEACH EROSION AND NOURISHMENT IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Authors

  • LINWOOD PENDLETON,

    1. Pendleton: Director, Ocean and Coastal Policy, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Duke University, Beaufort, NC 28516; Acting Chief Economist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Silver Spring, MD 20910 (Views expressed are not those of NOAA.) Phone 805-794-8206, E-mail linwood.pendleton@duke.edu
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  • CRAIG MOHN,

    1. Mohn: Cascade Econometrics, Sammamish, WA 98075. E-mail craigmohn@earthlink.net
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  • RYAN K. VAUGHN,

    1. Vaughn: Department of Economics, University of California, Los Angeles, 8283 Bunche Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095. E-mail rkvaughn@ucla.edu
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  • PHILIP KING,

    1. King: Associate Professor, Department of Economics, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA 94132. Phone 530-867-3935, Fax 530-750-0661, E-mail pking@sfsu.edu
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  • JAMES G. ZOULAS

    1. Zoulas: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, San Francisco District, 1455 Market Street, 1552B, San Francisco, CA 94103. E-mail James.G.Zoulas@usace.army.mil
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    • We thank the California Department of Boating and Waterways for supporting this research, especially Kim Sterrett whose vision and guidance made this work possible. We also thank Anthony Orme from the Department of Geography at the University of California in Los Angeles and his collaborators James Zoulas, Carla Chenualt Grady, and Hongkyo Koo who provided beach width data.


Abstract

Despite the widespread use of nourishment in California, few studies estimate the welfare benefits of increased beach width. This paper relies on panel data funded by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other agencies. Beach choices of respondents were combined with beach attribute data to reveal how changes in width affect choice and the economic value of beach visits. We use a random-utility approach to show that the value of beach width varies for different types of beach uses: water contact, sand-, and pavement-based activities. We also find that the marginal value of beach width depends on initial beach width. (JEL Q50)

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