Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 70, Issue 3, pp 631–650 | Cite as

The Allocation of Time and Risk of Lyme: A Case of Ecosystem Service Income and Substitution Effects

  • Kevin BerryEmail author
  • Jude Bayham
  • Spencer R. Meyer
  • Eli P. Fenichel


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. On average individuals spent 1.54 fewer minutes per day outdoors at the average, 72 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, confirmed cases of Lyme Disease. We estimate lost outdoor recreation of 9.41 h per year per person in an average county in the Northeastern United States and an aggregate welfare loss on the order $2.8 billion to $5.0 billion per year.


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



This publication was made possible by Grant Number 1R01GM100471-01 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) at the National Institutes of Health and NSF. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of NIGMS. This work was also funded by NSF Grant No. 1414374 as part of the joint NSF-NIH-USDA Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases program. S.R.M was supported by the NatureNet Science Program of The Nature Conservancy.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin Berry
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Jude Bayham
    • 3
  • Spencer R. Meyer
    • 4
  • Eli P. Fenichel
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Social and Economic Research, Department of EconomicsUniversity of Alaska AnchorageAnchorageUSA
  2. 2.Yale School of Forestry & Environmental StudiesNew HavenUSA
  3. 3.College of AgricultureCalifornia State University, ChicoChicoUSA
  4. 4.Highstead FoundationReddingUSA

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