The Response of Recreation Demand to Recessionary Forces: Evidence from Local Lake Usage

Mohammad Mainul Hoque, Joseph A. Herriges and Catherine L. Kling


During recessions, households may face unemployment, retirement, and/or lower income. These changes can induce an increase or decrease in recreation demand, depending upon whether recreation is a normal or inferior good. Further, income changes lower the opportunity cost of time devoted to recreation, potentially inducing increases in recreation activity. The net effect of these recessionary forces is an empirical question that has received little attention to date. Utilizing a unique panel comprising both prerecession and during-recession data on household employment, recreation usage, and socioeconomic variables, we investigate how changes in employment status during the recession alter lake-based recreation demand. (JEL Q26)

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