The Economics of Recreation: A Survey.

by Roger J. Vaughan

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A discussion of the reasons for public provision of open space in an urban environment. Parks have become the responsibility of municipal and federal governments because of the importance of spatial and social externalities. The results of this have been irregular distribution of facilities, congestion due to underpricing, and the absence of direct evidence with which the value of open space can be estimated. Two benefit measurement techniques are discussed. One uses the relationship between travel costs and visit rate, and the other uses the increases in property values around a park. A model is developed that allows the consumer surplus earned by those living near a park, usually omitted from land-value estimates, to be computed. Other problems encountered when applying cost-benefit analysis to recreation projects are also analyzed. 159 pp. Bibliog.

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