Lost Use-Value from Environmental Injury when Visitation Drops at Undamaged Sites: Reply

04 February 2019
By Dr. Garrett Glasgow and Dr. Kenneth Train

In an article published in the February 2019 issue of Land Economics, NERA Senior Consultant Dr. Garrett Glasgow and Associate Director Dr. Kenneth Train respond to a critique of their proposed welfare calculations when an environmental injury reduces recreational trips to both damaged and undamaged sites. Economists working for the U.S. government in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill case assert that the correction proposed by Dr. Glasgow and Dr. Train is unnecessary, and propose an alternative behavioral model based on unobserved perceptions that could in theory support the government's original welfare loss calculations. However, Dr. Glasgow and Dr. Train point out that the actual welfare loss under this alternative behavioral model cannot be identified empirically.