Department of Economics

Valuing Beach Closures on the Padre Island National Seashore

Department of Economics
University of Delaware
Working Paper #2008-10

Valuing Beach Closures on the Padre Island National Seashore

George R. Parsons, Christopher Leggett, Kevin Boyle and Ami Kang

ABSTRACT

In this paper we estimate the economic loss of hypothetical beach closures on the Padre Island National Seashore on the Gulf Coast of Texas. We use a travel cost random utility maximization (RUM) model with data from a random phone survey of Texas residents completed in 2001. We simulate realistic closures that may occur in event of an oil spill or other disruption. For comparison we valued the loss of beach closures in the heavily populated Galveston area. The aggregate losses on Padre Island were highest on weekend days in July estimated at $171,000 per day of closure(2001$). They were lowest on weekdays in September at $25,000. Per trip losses were about $28. A similar closure of beaches near Galveston resulted in losses of $263,000 (week day) and $852,000 (weekend day) with a per trip loss of $30.

Key words: random utility model, beach use, non-market valuation

JEL code: Q26

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