Munich Personal RePEc Archive

A Semiparametric Smooth Coefficient Estimator for Recreation Demand

Liu, Weiwei and Egan, Kevin J (2019): A Semiparametric Smooth Coefficient Estimator for Recreation Demand. Forthcoming in: Environmental and Resource Economics

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We introduce a semiparametric smooth coefficient estimator for recreation demand data that allows more flexible modeling of preference heterogeneity. We show that our sample of visitors each has an individual statistically significant price coefficient estimate leading to clearly nonparametric consumer surplus and willingness to pay (WTP) distributions. We also show mean WTP estimates that are different in economically meaningful ways for every demographic variable we have for our sample of beach visitors. This flexibility is valuable for future researchers who can include any variables of interest beyond the standard demographic variables we have included here. And the richer results, price elasticities, consumer surplus and WTP estimates, are valuable to planners and policymakers who can easily see how all these estimates vary with characteristics of the population of interest.

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