This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Three Essays on Non-Market Valuation Applications




Robinson, Derrick

Type of Degree



Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology


This dissertation is organized into three topics using nonmarket valuation applications. The first topic examines the demand behavior of recreational participants to the coastal counties in Alabama and Mississippi and their preferences for a variety of recreational attributes. The second topic examines these same tourists, and how preferences for specific seafood products affect seafood consumption during visits. The final topic examines households’ valuation for locational choice attributes using hedonic price applications. The results are presented in three separate chapters (2, 3, 4). The first topic estimates recreational site demand to the Alabama & Mississippi Gulf Coast Region (GCR) for multiple attributes using travel cost analysis and contingent valuation of beach access. This research is important for understanding tourists’ recreational demand for attributes in the GCR. These communities are heavily dependent on tourism, therefore this research is especially important to policy makers and local stakeholders in need of accurate estimates of the benefits of offering specific attributes to tourist during visits. Negative binomial and zero inflated binomial modeling are used to estimate both the visitation rate and recreational values of GCR attributes (ie: beach, boating, ecotourism, casinos, lodging, etc.). Moreover, these models are used because of they deal with issue of data truncation resulting from the non-negative and integer nature of trip counts and the over dispersion of zeros in the data. The second topic analyzes GCR tourists’ preferences for specific attributes of seafood when choosing to consume during visits. When modeling the choice to consume GCR seafood, the perceptions of product attributes are determined endogenously. To control for this endogeneity, a random utility model is used to examine tourists’ choice to consume seafood during coastal visits. Moreover, how tourists’ preferences for specific attributes (i.e., labels) affect this choice, specifically after considering the Deep Water Horizon oil spill. How tourist value these attributes is important to GCR policy makers and the local seafood industry, specifically on how to create value-added for local resources. The final topic investigates changes in local governmental policies in Los Angeles, California that impact medical marijuana dispensary (MMD) locations. Using MMD data for the county of Los Angeles CA, as well as property sales data and demographic census data, a difference in difference (DD) hedonic housing price model will be used to calculate the change in price due to a change in neighborhood quality before and after a change in city statutes that caused the closing of over 70% of MMD facilities. I follow using a selection model to estimate the impact on residential location choice and neighborhood stratification. My hypothesis is that the closer a MMD site is located to a specific property; the price of the property will decrease at an increasing rate.