Économie et Statistique n° 421 - 2009 What does it Mean to be Poor in Europe today? - A Multidimensional Approach to the Economic Value of Nature-based Recreation - Do French Managers Know their Companies?
A Multidimensional Approach to the Economic Value of Nature-based Recreation
Whilst quality is a key factor of the recreational experience and hence of recreational demand, traditional methods of economic assessment still have trouble incorporating the multi-dimensional aspect. The “choice experiment” method, seen as an alternative, has its limits as well. We therefore examine a new approach known as the multi-programme (MP) method. MP is based on the work of Lancaster (1966) and Hoehn (1991) and on a protocol developed by Santos (1998) and Point et al. (2007). It focuses on determining agents’ willingness to pay (WTP) for different choices (called “programmes”) in an environmental policy but also studies potential relations between the choices. In other words, it allows for the possible occurrence of an inclusion bias. Consequently, to calculate environmental policy, MP does not use the “independent valuation and summation” procedure (Hoehn, 1991) but also takes into account changes due to the enactment of the entire policy (Hoehn and Loomis, 1993). We report on an application of MP to the coast of the Gironde département (south-west France), where recreational activities take place in ocean, sand, and forest spaces concurrently. There is a programme for each space. To model dichotomous responses, we use the Cameron and James (1987a) approach, which assumes that a respondent will refuse to pay for a policy if his or her WTP for the latter exceeds the cost at which the policy has been offered. The results show that, taken in isolation, only the forest programme is not valued. We also find that, in contradiction with the postulates of Hoehn (1991) and Santos (1998), a majority of programmes are valued independently. Offering them jointly generates no additional welfare gain.