Brief History

A Brief History of the Recreation Use Values Database

The first published review of the recreation use values economic literature was conducted by Sorg and Loomis (1984). Their review covered outdoor recreation and forest amenity use value estimation from the mid-1960s to 1982. The second review, conducted by Walsh, Johnson and McKean (1988) [see also Walsh, Johnson and McKean 1989, 1992] covered outdoor recreation use valuation studies from 1968 to 1988, building on the first review, but focusing primarily on the 1983 to 1988 literature. Concurrently, Smith (1988) [see also Smith and Kaoru 1989] was conducting a review of the literature focusing on travel cost model estimates of recreation benefits.

A third literature review was conducted by MacNair (1993) and covered the period 1968 to 1993. This review formally coded information on attributes of the studies. A fourth review of this literature was conducted by Loomis, Rosenberger and Shrestha (1999) [see also Rosenberger and Loomis 2000a, 2000b, 2001; Shrestha and Loomis 2001, 2003] using an expanded coding protocol worksheet and focusing most intently on the period 1988 to 1998, excluding sport fishing studies. The MacNair database was then merged with this fourth iteration of the database. Concurrently with this fourth literature review was a review of sport fishing studies using a similar coding protocol worksheet (Boyle et al., 1998). A fifth review of the literature was conducted by Kaval and Loomis (2003) [see also Loomis 2005], updating the previous version of the database to 2003 and focusing on under-represented recreation activities.

A sixth review of the literature and complete reconstruction of the database was concluded in 2006.. Database reconstruction used expanded coding protocols that also included recording estimated price coefficients, their standard errors and price elasticity estimates. Additional documents were added including eligible sport fishing documents not previously recorded, additional overlooked documents, and documents released between 2003 and 2006. See Moeltner and Rosenberger (2008, 2014), Rosenberger and Johnston (2009), Rosenberger and Stanley (2007, 2008, 2012), Stanley and Rosenberger (2009), and Vista and Rosenberger (2013) for analyses that used all or part of the database.

The current effort is the seventh review of the literature and was conducted in collaboration with updating the Benefit Transfer Toolkit (https://my.usgs.gov/benefit-transfer/) and a U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, General Technical Report (forthcoming). This latest version is the most comprehensive and consistently coded database of recreation use values for the US and Canada to date.

References

Boyle, K., R. Bishop, J. Caudill, J. Charbonneau, D. Larson, M. Markowski, R. Unsworth and R. Paterson. 1998. A database of sport fishing values. Prepared for Economics Division, US Fish and Wildlife Service. Cambridge, MA: Industrial Economics, Inc. http://www.indecon.com/fish/Sprtfish.pdf

Kaval, P. and J. Loomis. 2003. Updated outdoor recreation use values with emphasis on National Park recreation. Final Report, Cooperative Agreement 1200-99-009, Project number IMDE-02-0070. Fort Collins, CO: Colorado State University, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

Loomis, J. 2005. Updated outdoor recreation use values on national forests and other public lands. General Technical Report PNW-GTR-658. Portland, OR: USDA, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/pubs/pnw_gtr658.pdf

MacNair, D. 1993. 1993 RPA recreation values database. Contract 43-4568-3-1191. Washington, DC: USDA Forest Service, RPA Program.

Moeltner, K. and R.S. Rosenberger. 2008. Predicting resource policy outcomes via meta-regression: Data space, model space, and the quest for ‘optimal scope.’ The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy 8(1):article 31.

Moeltner, K., and Rosenberger, R.S. 2014. Cross-context benefit transfer: A Bayesian search for information pools. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 96(2): 469-488.

Rosenberger, R.S. and R.J. Johnston. 2009. Selection effects in meta-analysis and benefit transfer: Avoiding unintended consequences. Land Economics 85(3):410-428.

Rosenberger, R.S. and J.B. Loomis. 2000a. Using meta-analysis for benefit transfer: In-sample convergent validity tests of an outdoor recreation database. Water Resources Research 36(4):1097-1107.

Rosenberger, R.S. and J.B. Loomis. 2000b. Panel stratification in meta-analysis of environmental and natural resource economic studies. Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics 32(3):459-470.

Rosenberger, R.S. and J.B. Loomis. 2001. Benefit transfer of outdoor recreation use studies: A technical document supporting the Forest Service Strategic Plan (2000 revision). General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-72. Fort Collins, CO: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. PDF

Rosenberger, R.S. and T.D. Stanley. 2007. Publication effects in the recreation use value literature: A preliminary investigation. Selected paper presented at the American Agricultural Economics Association Annual Meeting, Portland, OR, July 29-August 1, 2007. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University. PDF

Rosenberger, R.S. and T.D. Stanley. 2008. Meta-analysis of environmental economics. AERE Newsletter 28(2):27-35.

Rosenberger, R.S. and T.D. Stanley. 2012. Publication selection of recreation demand price elasticities: A meta-analysis. Working paper. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University. PDF

Shrestha, R.K. and J.B. Loomis. 2001. Testing a meta-analysis model for benefit transfer in international outdoor recreation. Ecological Economics 39(1):67-83. PDF

Shrestha, R.K. and J.B. Loomis. 2003. Meta-analytic benefit transfer of outdoor recreation economic values: Testing out-of-sample convergent validity. Environmental and Resource Economics 25(1):79-100.

Smith, V.K. 1988. Recreational benefits transfer project. EPA Cooperative Agreement Project #CR813564. Raleigh, NC: North Carolina State University, Department of Economics and Business.

Smith, V.K. and Y. Kaoru. 1990. Signals or noise? Explaining the variation in recreation benefit estimates. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 72(2):419-433.

Sorg, C.F. and J.B Loomis. 1984. Empirical estimates of amenity forest values: A comparative review. General Technical Report RM-107. Fort Collins, CO: USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station.

Stanley, T.D. and R.S. Rosenberger. 2009. Are recreation values systematically underestimated? Reducing publication selection bias for benefit transfer. Working paper. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University. PDF

Vista. A.B. and R.S. Rosenberger. 2013. Addressing dependency in the sportfishing valuation literature: Implications for meta-regression analysis and benefit transfer. Ecological Economics 96:181-189.

Walsh, R.G., D.M. Johnson and J.R. McKean. 1988. Review of outdoor recreation economic demand studies with nonmarket benefit estimates, 1968-1988. Technical Report No. 54. Fort Collins, CO: Colorado State University, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

Walsh, R.G., D.M. Johnson and J.R. McKean. 1989. Issues in nonmarket valuation and policy application: A retrospective glance. Western Journal of Agricultural Economics 14(1):178-188.

Walsh, R.G., D.M. Johnson and J.R. McKean. 1992. Benefit transfer of outdoor recreation demand studies: 1968-1988. Water Resources Research 28(3):707-713.

Past Sponsors

US Environmental Protection Agency
USDA Forest Service
USDI National Park Service
USDI Bureau of Reclamation
USDI Fish and Wildlife Service