Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 19–41 | Cite as

Short Run Constraints and the Increasing Marginal Value of Time in Recreation

  • Raymond B. PalmquistEmail author
  • Daniel J. Phaneuf
  • V. Kerry Smith


Leisure activities such as local recreation trips usually take place in discrete blocks of time that are surrounded by time devoted to other commitments. It can be costly to transfer time between blocks to allow for longer outings. These observations affect the value of time within those blocks and suggest that traditional methods for valuing time using labor markets miss important considerations. This paper presents a new model for time valuation that uses non-employment time commitments to infer the shadow value of time spent in recreation. A unique survey that elicited revealed and stated preference data on household time allocation is used to implement the model. The results support the conclusion that there is an increasing marginal value of time for recreation as the trip length increases.


Opportunity cost of time Time allocation Choice margins Local recreation outings 

JEL Classification

Q26 J22 D13 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raymond B. Palmquist
    • 1
    Email author
  • Daniel J. Phaneuf
    • 2
  • V. Kerry Smith
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural and Resource EconomicsNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  3. 3.Department of EconomicsArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  4. 4.Resources for the FutureWashingtonUSA
  5. 5.National Bureau of Economic ResearchCambridgeUSA

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