Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Economics and Finance


Herbert H. Fullerton


The central objective of the investigation in this study is to determine a means of attaining an economically efficient combination of resources to maximize the level of services provided by a national park under the conditions of a limited budget, a constrained production possibilities set, and a limited availability of inputs. First, a theoretical model is built which elucidates the collective and private good natures of national park products. The theory identifies the optimality criteria for the provision of park products in a system of limited resources. It is noted, however, that the theoretically determined optimal solution cannot be expected to emerge automatically in a market situation due to the social good nature of some park products. Therefore, a second-best objective of maximizing the value of the park's output as evaluated by the park's superintendent is adopted for use in the study's applied analysis.

The empirical model which is then constructed, combines concepts from economic theory and mathematical programming which lend themselves to solving the production economizing problems facing a park. It offers national park managers operational tools for aiding in their decision-making. While the paper points to important implications for current policy, it also indicates promising directions for future study .



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