The Welfare Impacts of Unanticipated Trip Limitations in Travel Cost Models

Richard T. Woodward, Dhazn Gillig, Wade L. Griffin and Teofilo Ozuna Jr.


Travel cost models are routinely used to assess the impact of policy changes on consumer’s surplus. In this paper we show that when the policy change leads to a partial closure of the resource, then the standard use of consumer’ s surplus per trip can be inappropriate depending upon the theoretical behavioral model underlying the analysis. We demonstrate the importance of theoretical model choice using an analysis of the Gulf of Mexico’s recreational red snapper fishery. (JEL Q26)

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