Racial Distance Matters Too: Racial and Ethnic Reference Dependence in Recreation Decision Making

56 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2021 Last revised: 30 Mar 2022

See all articles by Jesse Backstrom

Jesse Backstrom

University of Chicago - Department of Economics

Richard T. Woodward

Texas A&M University - Department of Agricultural Economics

Date Written: April 2, 2021

Abstract

Using data on angler choices from the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), we demonstrate a level of racial aversion in which anglers are less likely to fish from a site with larger black and Hispanic population proportions than what exist in their home origin. We are unable to identify a convincing mechanism for this behavior, though there is slightly less aversion among more avid anglers. Our results provide a novel perspective on the role of race in society. We believe that recreation demand modeling should routinely consider racial distance as an explanatory variable.

Keywords: Recreation Demand, Site Choice Model, Travel Cost Model, Race and Ethnicity, Environmental Justice

JEL Classification: D63, Q26, Q51

Suggested Citation

Backstrom, Jesse and Woodward, Richard T., Racial Distance Matters Too: Racial and Ethnic Reference Dependence in Recreation Decision Making (April 2, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3818265 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3818265

Jesse Backstrom

University of Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
6123849321 (Phone)

Richard T. Woodward (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University - Department of Agricultural Economics ( email )

College Station, TX 77843-4218
United States
(409) 845-5864 (Phone)

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