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Appears in Collections:Economics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Was the trip worth it? Consistency between decision and experienced utility assessments of recreational nature visits
Author(s): Börger, Tobias
Maccagnan, Anna
White, Mathew P
Elliott, Lewis R
Taylor, Tim
Keywords: experienced utility
green/blue spaces
natural environments
revealed preference valuation
subjective wellbeing
travel cost method
Issue Date: 9-Jun-2022
Date Deposited: 23-Jun-2022
Citation: Börger T, Maccagnan A, White MP, Elliott LR & Taylor T (2022) Was the trip worth it? Consistency between decision and experienced utility assessments of recreational nature visits. American Journal of Agricultural Economics.
Abstract: This paper assesses the relationship between decision utility and experienced utility of recreational nature visits. The former is measured as the travel cost to reach that site as routinely used by the travel cost method (TCM), and the latter is operationalized through visit-related subjective well-being (SWB). As such, the analysis is a test of convergent validity by examining whether ex ante TCM-based assessment of recreational value reflecting decision utility corresponds to stated ex post SWB, reflecting experienced utility. It explores to what extent utility revealed by counts of nature visits are associated with self-reported, visit-related SWB relating to that same visited site. The analysis uses two existing datasets providing information on (i) 3672 recreational visits to green/blue spaces in England over the course of four years and (ii) 5937 recreational visits to bluespace sites across 14 European countries over one year. Results show a positive association between travel cost and visit-related SWB while controlling for trip frequency and a large set of covariates, suggesting convergent validity of the two utility concepts. A breakdown by travel mode suggests this relationship only holds for trips involving motorized transport and is not present for habitual, chore-like walking visits to the recreational site.
DOI Link: 10.1111/ajae.12328
Rights: © 2022 The Authors. American Journal of Agricultural Economics published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Agricultural & Applied Economics Association. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Notes: Output Status: Forthcoming/Available Online
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