Rationed Access and Welfare: The Case of Public Resource Lotteries

David O. Scrogin and Robert P. Berrens


Pressures on public lands and waterways are resulting increasingly in the rationing of public access by lottery. Upon accounting for the uncertainties of random rationing, discrete choice models lend themselves to analyzing participation in public resource lotteries and estimating welfare changes. Key to valuing lotteryrationed rights is accounting for changes in access probabilities that result from policy changes. The empirical application models the discrete choices of more than 18,000 participants in a New Mexico lottery system for elk harvest rights. Welfare estimates are obtained from simulated policy changes that affect, individually and jointly, the access probability and indirect utility. (JEL Q20)

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