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Estimating Lost Recreational Use Values of Visitors to Northwest Florida due to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Using Cancelled Trip Data

John Whitehead (), Tim Haab (), Sherry L. Larkin, John Loomis, Sergio Alvarez and Andrew Ropicki

Marine Resource Economics, 2018, vol. 33, issue 2, 119 - 132

Abstract: The lost recreational use values from the BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico were estimated from cancelled recreational trips to Northwest Florida. The impacts were calculated using the travel cost method for a single site with primary data collected from an online survey conducted after the spill. The data were collected in August and September 2011 with respondents residing in 13 US states that constitute the primary domestic market for coastal tourism to Northwest Florida. The survey gathered information from respondents on their recreational visits, including detailed information on their past trips and the number of trips cancelled to the study region due to the oil spill. The empirical analysis involves the estimation of a random parameter negative binomial count data demand model. Using this model we find significant preference heterogeneity surrounding the effects of the oil spill. Aggregate damages are estimated to be $207 million.

Date: 2018
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