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Environ Resour Econ (Dordr). 2018 Jul;70(3):631-650. doi: 10.1007/s10640-017-0142-7. Epub 2017 Apr 13.

The allocation of time and risk of Lyme: A case of ecosystem service income and substitution effects.

Author information

1
Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, 195 Prospect Street.
2
College of Agriculture, California State University, Chico, Chico, CA 95929.
3
Highstead Foundation, P.O. Box 1097, Redding, CT 06875.
4
Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, 195 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511.

Abstract

Forests are often touted for their ecosystem services, including outdoor recreation. Historically forests were a source of danger and were avoided. Forests continue to be reservoirs for infectious diseases and their vectors - a disservice. We examine how this disservice undermines the potential recreational services by measuring the human response to environmental risk using exogenous variation in the risk of contracting Lyme Disease. We find evidence that individuals substitute away from spending time outdoors when there is greater risk of Lyme Disease infection. Individuals facing a higher risk of infection substitute away from outdoor leisure. On average individuals spent 1.54 fewer minutes outdoors at the average, 72 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), confirmed cases of Lyme Disease. We estimate lost outdoor recreation of 9.41 hours per year per person in an average county in the North Eastern United States and an aggregate welfare loss on the order $2.8 billion to $5.0 billion per year.

KEYWORDS:

Adaptation; American Time Use Survey (ATUS); Economic-Epidemiology; Resource allocation; Risk; travel cost

PMID:
30166775
PMCID:
PMC6110530
[Available on 2019-07-01]
DOI:
10.1007/s10640-017-0142-7

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