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Title:Race, income, and benefits from national parks
Author(s):Castaneda, Cory J
Advisor(s):Ando, Amy W.
Contributor(s):Michelson, Hope C.; Myers, Erica
Department / Program:Agr & Consumer Economics
Discipline:Agricultural & Applied Econ
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):National parks
Travel cost method
Zero inflated negative binomial
Abstract:National Parks have become an integral part of global life in both developed and developing countries during the last century. Today, there are more than 1,200 national parks and nature preserves around the world. The U.S. federal government spends more than \$3 billion annually to maintain and preserve parks for public use. The national parks were originally intended to promote recreational activities for socio-economically disadvantaged communities by allowing them access at little or no cost. However, recently there has been discussion as to whether or not this is still the case. The existing literature has a gap regarding how demand for national parks varies by race, and how that variation is driven by differences in income, preferences, and access to transportation. To address this gap, I use the travel cost method to evaluate park user’s willingness-to-pay to visit the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in Chesterton, IN. Specifically, we look at how park user’s race/ethnicity and income affect their willingness-to-pay to visit the site, and how that variation, along with access to transportation, influences visit frequency. In the study, the data shows that park resources are not being used equally by different groups of the population. Having access to transportation is an important mechanism behind a park user’s decision to visit the site, so the groups with less access to transportation will visit the site less frequently. Results show that African-Americans are less likely to visit the site, and respondent’s income did not influence whether or not they ever visited the site. The seasonal willingness to pay was \$23.91 for a 1/3 opportunity cost and \$23.01 for a 3/4 opportunity cost.
Issue Date:2017-04-26
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Cory Castaneda
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-08-10
Date Deposited:2017-05

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