Author

Eric R. Meale

Date of Award:

1974

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Agricultural Systems Technology and Education

Department name when degree awarded

Agricultural Economics

Advisor/Chair:

E. Boyd Wennergren

Abstract

The consumer surplus and economic rent methods of resource valuation were applied to boating recreation in Utah. Total consumer surplus and economic rent values were estimated for twenty-four boating sites. These values incorporate the relationship existing between the variable use cost and the units of activity associated with the site.

Data were collected by a mail survey directed to boaters during the 1973 boating season. Approximately 1,408 questionnaires were analyzed. Additional data were collected from the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation.

Economic rent and consumer surplus were compared by using a common mathematical model and empirical observation. The concepts of economic rent and consumer surplus were assumed to be consistent methods of resource valuation and that the models would yield equivalent values. Three stages of the calculation procedure were considered in analyzing the comparison of the two methodologies . In the first stage, the economic rent and consumer surplus values were compared and the economic rent estimate consistently exceeded the consumer surplus. In the second and third stages, the projected values for an origin visiting a site were compared with the total values for a site. This process did not demonstrate any unique relationship between the two resource valuation methodologies. The most significant factors contributing to the inconsistent relationship between economic rent and consumer surplus are using the number of trips in the economic rent model and the numbers of trips per capita in the consumer surplus model, the constant economic rent per trip, and the decline in the consumer surplus for an additional trip per capita; and the respective projection factors of the two models.

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