Essays on Agriculture Externalities and Benefit Transfer of Recreational Fishing Value | Ohio Sea Grant

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Essays on Agriculture Externalities and Benefit Transfer of Recreational Fishing Value

OHSU-TD-1500: Essays on Agriculture Externalities and Benefit Transfer of Recreational Fishing Value

Published: Jan 1, 2004
Last Modified: Apr 28, 2016
Length: 182 pages
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Hyojin Jeong


This dissertation explores the physical and economic aspects of agricultural
externalities and the economic value of marine and stream recreational fishing. The
effects of pesticide use and tillage practice on water treatment costs and pesticide
contamination in treated water are empirically investigated in the first essay. The
economic value of marine recreational fishing, the value of access to fishing sites and
fishing quality improvements, is examined in the second essay. The third essay examines
the economic value of stream recreational fishing: the value of fishing trips and water
quality improvements. To evaluate the value of recreational fishing, both second and
third essays use benefit transfer techniques.
The first essay, Empirical Investigation of Agricultural Externalities: Effects of
Pesticide Use and Tillage System on Surface Water Quality and Treatment Costs, focuses
on the off-farm water quality and water treatment cost effects of upstream and nearby
agricultural practices (pesticide use and tillage system), specifically on the pesticide
contamination in finished public surface water and water treatment costs in the Maumee
River Basin, a major tributary to Lake Erie, located in northwestern Ohio, northeastern
Indiana, and southeastern Michigan. Pesticide contamination level in treated surface
water and average chemical cost of treating surface water are related to farming
practices and other environmental variables. Findings indicate significant relationships
between farming practices and both surface water quality and treatment costs. Average
chemical cost per million gallons of water decreases by 1.95% for a 1% reduction in
pesticide application, while pesticide contamination level decreases by 4.32% for a 1%
more adoption of conservation tillage in a typical watershed area in the Maumee River
The second essay, The Economic Value of Marine Recreational Fishing: Applying
Benefit Transfer to Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey (MRFSS), conducts a
comprehensive survey of benefit transfer techniques including historical background,
methodologies, and procedures. Then, benefit transfer technique is applied to the
estimation of access value to fishing sites and willingness to pay for better fishing
experience in a marine recreational fishing environment of the coastal states in the
Northeast and Southeast U.S. Using 1994 Northeast and 1997 Southeast MRFSS data,
benefit transfer estimates are compared with original value estimates to empirically
examine the validity of benefit transfer. Although benefit transfer error could go up to
over 400% of original estimates for some cases, the magnitude of benefit transfer error is
less than 100% of original estimates for most cases. Since two data sets used for benefit
transfer exercise are from different regions and years, whether regional or temporal
variation is more responsible for benefit transfer error can not be determined with current
The third essay, Recreational Fishing Value Estimation of Water Quality
Improvements in Western Ohio Using Benefit Transfer, presents methods for estimating
the value of recreational fishing trips and water quality improvements in two watersheds
supporting a warm freshwater recreational fishery, the Stillwater River Watershed and
Maumee River Basin, in western Ohio using benefit transfer. These two watersheds are
further disaggregated into several local stream segments within the watersheds to provide
regional results for larger watersheds and to help local policy makers target their efforts
more efficiently and effectively. Findings are that annual recreational fishing benefits of
water quality improvements are $2,255,616 ($2,759,225 or $3,966,716) and $6,236,853
($5,395,609 or $7,171,617) with about $44 ($54 or $77) and $58 ($50 or $66) of annual
per angler benefits using average value transfer (two function transfer) estimates in the
Stillwater River Watershed and Maumee River Basin respectively. These estimates along
with disaggregated results in terms of local stream segments and angler types could serve
as an initial set of approximated recreational benefits of any local environmental policy
involving water quality improvement in inland streams and rivers, at least in terms of
recreational fishing.
The measurements of both agricultural externalities and recreational fishing value
can be used to help policy makers manage available resources more efficiently and
effectively in administrating conservation and/or environmental programs. As is always
the case with any non-market valuation technique, careful professional judgments and
efforts should be practiced before adopting externality measurements of agricultural
practices and benefit transfer estimates of any recreation activity at any stage of policy