Surfonomics: The Value of a Wave
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Surfing as an ocean recreational activity is open access and generally without entrance fees. Valuing the recreational activity can, therefore, not be determent as straightforward as market commodities. Through “surfonomics” one can determine the economic value of waves and benefits gained by surfing to local communities. In this master thesis, the author examines the non-market value of surfing at the coast of Jæren, Norway. A reveal preference estimation in a random utility model of site choice is implemented to measure the recreation surfing benefits under status quo conditions and possible effects in site value for three hypothetical scenarios. This study uses data from an on-site survey conducted at the coast of Jæren in April 2018. Discrete choice models with fixed effects are estimated and used to derive total willingness to pay for two commonly known local surf sites, respectively Bore and Sele. Willingness to pay per trip per person is found to be in the range from NOK 11.81 to 15.83 in five estimated models. The annual non-market value of surfing, therefore, ranges from NOK 265 135 to 355 384. Results were calculated using a conservative estimate of 22 450 annual surfing trips. Results stemming from the three hypothetical scenarios suggest that wave quality, wave frequency and water quality at Jæren is expected to increase a site`s value. Hence, as the quality characteristics increase so will local visitations and surfers well-being.
Master's thesis in Economics