A market for snow: Modeling winter recreation patterns under current and future climate

Bryan Parthum, Peter Christensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Throughout the winter months across the globe, mountain communities and snow-enthusiasts alike anxiously monitor ever-changing snowpack conditions. We model the behavioral response to this climate amenity by pairing a unique panel of 12 million short-term property rental transactions with daily local weather, daily local snowpack, and daily local snowfall in every major ski resort market across the United States. Matching the spatial and temporal variation in the level of the amenity with that of related market transactions, we derive market-specific demand elasticities, explicitly accounting for substitution, to model recreation patterns throughout a typical season. Lastly, we combine downscaled projections of local snowpack under future climate scenarios to estimate within and across season trends in visitation during mid and late-century conditions. Our model predicts reductions in snow-related visitation of –40% to –60%, almost twice as large as previous estimates suggest. This translates to a lower-bound on the annual willingness to pay to avoid reductions in snowpack between $1.23 billion (RCP4.5) and $2.05 billion (RCP8.5) by the end of the century.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102637
JournalJournal of Environmental Economics and Management
Volume113
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2022

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Nonmarket valuation
  • Recreation demand

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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