Effects of Ad-hoc Data Truncation and Homogeneous Preferences on Recreational Demand and Values: An Application to the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests
We estimate a travel cost model for the George Washington & Jefferson National Forests using an On-Site Latent Class Poisson Model. We show that the constraints of ad-hoc truncation and homogenous preferences significantly impact consumer surplus estimates derived from the on-site travel cost model. By relaxing the constraints, we show that more than one class of visitors with unique preferences exists in the population. The resulting demand functions, price responsive behaviors, and consumer surplus estimates reflect differences across these classes of visitors. With heterogeneous preferences, a group of ‘local residents’ exists with a probability of 8% and, on average take 113 visits.