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Sustainable Nature Tourism and the Nature of Tourists’ Cooperative Behavior: Recreation Conflicts, Conditional Cooperation and the Public Good Problem
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis consists of five essays.

Essay I (with David Vail) explains why neither Maine, USA's comparatively laissez faire economic and land use institutions nor Dalarna, Sweden's more heavily regulated economy seems well designed to make tourism a powerful economic development engine. The paper focuses on three clusters of institutions that have a major influence on tourism's scale, economic structure, and long term sustainability. Labor laws and labor market institutions, Land ownership and property rights and Commodity taxes. The paper employs institutional contrasts between Dalarna and Maine to frame hypotheses that will guide future studies of sustainable tourism in forest regions.

Essay II (with David Vail) Snowmobiling growth in North America and Sweden creates challenges in “governing the commons.” Snowmobiling contributes to the economy of distressed rural regions and enhances residents’ quality of life; but quasi-open access to winter landscapes also breeds conflicts: among snowmobilers, with landowners, with other recreationists, and with environmentalists and ecosystem health. Case studies in Sweden and Maine are used to illustrate how innovative governance institutions, complemented by infrastructure investments, can mitigate conflicts, re-align incentives, and internalize costs.

Essay III (with Kreg Lindberg and Peter Fredman) Many natural areas are visited by diverse groups of recreationists, and in some cases the presence or behavior of one group may negatively impact the experience of another group. This recreation conflict may lead to access restrictions for the "offending" group. However, the magnitude of the gains and losses from such management interventions remain unknown. The present study utilizes choice experiment analysis to provide estimates of the economic value to cross-country skiers of conflict reduction from various levels of snowmobile presence.

Essay IV uses a natural experiment to study the impact of an informal sanctioning mechanism on individuals’ voluntary contribution to a public good. Cross-country skiers’ actual cash contributions in two ski resorts, one with and one without an informal sanctioning system, are used. I find the contributing share to be higher in the informal sanctioning system (79 percent) than in the non-sanctioning system (36 percent). Furthermore, a CC-function, i.e. the relationship between expected average contributions of other group members and the individual’s own contribution, is elicited and compared between the two systems.

Essay V tests for conditional cooperation and social comparisons in a natural field experiment, using decisions from a sample of cross-country skiers in Sweden on the issue of voluntary cash contributions to the preparation of ski tracks. Testing by experimentally varying the beliefs about others’ behavior, I find the share of subjects giving a contribution to be significantly greater in the group receiving information about others’ behavior than in the group that does not. Regression analysis cannot reject that subjects are affected by social comparisons and express a behavior classified as conditional cooperation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Nationalekonomiska institutionen , 2005. , 148 p.
Economic studies, ISSN 0283-7668 ; 86
Keyword [en]
Economics, field experiment, conditional cooperation, Allemansrätten, tourism development
Keyword [sv]
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-5856ISBN: 91-87268-93-0OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-5856DiVA: diva2:166653
Public defence
2005-06-03, Hörsal 2, Ekonomikum, Uppsala, 10:15
Available from: 2005-05-11 Created: 2005-05-11Bibliographically approved

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