nep-tur New Economics Papers
on Tourism Economics
Issue of 2011‒12‒19
three papers chosen by
Antonello Scorcu
University of Bologna

  1. Economic valuation of coastal zone quality improvements By Halkos, George
  2. The BCA of HSR Should the government invest in high speed rail infrastructure? By De Rus, Ginés
  3. Good rankings are bad - Why reliable rankings can hurt consumers By Bouton, Laurent; Kirchsteiger, Georg

  1. By: Halkos, George
    Abstract: Individuals’ decision to use a particular coastal beach is influenced by their preferences and perceptions as well as beach’s characteristics. This study examines visitors’ attributes and desired site specific characteristics in order to determine the factors affecting willingness to pay for an improvement quality (environment, water as well as recreation activities) program. A contingent valuation survey is carried out in order to evaluate the economic benefits of improving coastal quality of beaches in a coastal line of an area in Central Greece (Volos) where persistent failures to meet the standards of the Blue Flag program are observed. Our empirical findings suggest that the major variables affecting respondents’ willingness to pay were related to income, age, gender, coastal recreational activities and environmental quality of the site as well as to previous environmental behavior and mainly if they had paid for environmental protection in the past.
    Keywords: Coastal zone; contingent valuation; economic value of recreation; blue flags
    JEL: Q50 N54 Q51
    Date: 2011–12
  2. By: De Rus, Ginés
    Abstract: This paper deals with public investment in High Speed Rail (HSR) infrastructure and tries to understand the economic rationale for allocating public money to the construction of new HSR lines. The exam of data on costs and demand shows that the case for investing in HSR requires several conditions to be met: an ex ante high volume of traffic in the corridor where the new line is built, significant time savings, high average willingness to pay of potential users, the release of capacity in the conventional rail network and airports. On the contrary, net environmental benefits seem to be insignificant as to influence the social desirability of HSR investment. This paper discusses, within a cost-benefit analysis framework, under which conditions the expected benefits could justify the investment in HSR projects.
    Date: 2011–11
  3. By: Bouton, Laurent; Kirchsteiger, Georg
    Abstract: Ranking have become increasingly popular on markets for study programs, restaurants, wines, cars, etc. This paper analyses the welfare implication of such rankings. Consumers have to make a choice between two goods of unknown quality with exogenous presence or absence of an informative ranking. We show that existence of the ranking might make all consumers worse off. The existence of a ranking changes the demand structure of consumers. With rigid prices and rationing, the change can be detrimental to consumers due to its effect on rationing. Furthermore, this change in demand can also be detrimental due to consumption externalities. Finally, with perfectly flexible prices the ranking might increase the market power of firms and hence lead to losses for all consumers.
    Keywords: Consumer Welfare; Externalities; Market Power; Rankings; Rationing
    JEL: D1 D4 D6 D8 L1
    Date: 2011–12

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