What’s the value of a clean beach? Here’s how economists do…

first_img By Timothy Haab, Professor of Environmental Economics, The Ohio State University and first published on theconversation.com.Millions of Americans head outdoors in the summer, whether for a day at a nearby lake or a monthlong road trip. For environmental economists like me, decisions by vacationers and outdoor recreators offer clues to a challenging puzzle: estimating what environmental resources are worth.In 1981 President Ronald Reagan issued an executive order that required federal agencies to weigh the costs and benefits of proposed major new regulations, and in most cases to adopt them only if the benefits to society outweighed the costs. Reagan’s order was intended to promote environmental improvements without overburdening economic growth.Cost-benefit analysis has been so successful as a tool for policy analysis that every administration since Reagan has endorsed using it. However, it requires measuring benefits that are not “priced” in typical markets. Fortunately, putting a price on non-market environmental outcomes, such as safer drinking water and fewer deaths from exposure to dirty air, has proved to be possible, and highly valuable. These estimates help to make the case for actions such as cleaning up beaches and protecting scenic areas.Studies by the EPA have calculated that the benefits of avoided deaths and illnesses resulting from the Clean Act far outweigh the costs to society of complying with the law. EPAWhat’s it worth to you?According to a preliminary estimate from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, outdoor recreation adds $373 billion to the U.S. economy yearly. That’s 2 percent of our annual gross domestic product – more than agriculture, mining or utilities, and approaching the economic contribution of national defense.Most policymakers and local communities measure the economic value of outdoor recreation through estimates like this, which calculate how much money it adds to local economies through direct expenditures. For example, vacationers rent hotel rooms, and their spending pays employee salaries and funds local investments through hotel taxes. Visitors to national parks pay entrance fees for park upkeep and augment local economies through employee wages and other expenditures on food and services around the park.But recreation decisions also reveal the value that people place on the environment itself. Outdoor destinations provide services, such as opportunities to swim or hike in unspoiled settings. If high levels of harmful bacteria close a beach I was planning to visit, I may choose to drive a longer distance to a beach with clean water. By quantifying such increases in time and out-of-pocket expenditures, economists can measure people’s willingness to pay for changes in environmental quality.Travelers’ willingness to spend time and money visiting remote attractions like Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming help economists estimate how the public values those places. NPS/Jacob W. FrankFunding beach cleanupsIn one recent study, I worked with other researchers to estimate increased travel and time expenditures that people incurred to avoid trash and debris on 31 Southern California beaches. No one wants to go to a beach littered with hypodermic needles, plastic bottles and discarded fishing nets. But cleaning up marine debris is expensive, and it is hard for communities to recover the costs, particularly for public beaches with open access. Understanding the value of cleaner beaches can help build support for funding trash collection.To measure the amount of debris, we hired workers to walk the beaches tallying quantities of trash. Then we surveyed Southern California residents about how often and where they went to the beach, which enabled us to correlate numbers of visitors at each beach with quantities of debris. Finally, using travel time and expenses for each visitor to visit each beach, we modeled the relationship between where they chose to go to the beach, how much they spent to get there, and the cleanliness of the beach.Using this model, we found that visitors to these beaches would be willing to incur $12.91 in additional costs per trip if each of the beaches had 25 percent less debris. This translated into a total willingness to pay $29.5 million for action to reduce marine debris by 25 percent on these beaches.Reducing harmful algal blooms in Lake ErieTrash on beaches is mainly an aesthetic nuisance, but some resource problems are more severe. For example, warm weather often triggers harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie’s western basin. These outbreaks, which are caused by agricultural and urban phosphorous pollution, contain freshwater toxins that are dangerous to humans and animals. They can trigger beach closures, and sometimes even drinking water bans.Using similar techniques to the California study, I worked with another group of economists to estimate the economic value of reducing outbreaks of harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie. To model the relationship between recreation and water quality, we combined satellite data on harmful algal outbreaks in the lake in the summer of 2016 with visit patterns from a survey of Lake Erie visitors. Once again, we used travel time to each visited site and out-of-pocket expenditures to get there to represent the price of a trip. Then we correlated the price of a trip with the location of the visit and the presence of harmful algal blooms.Algal toxin warning sign on an empty Maumee Bay State Park public beach on Lake Erie in Oregon, Ohio, Sept. 15, 2017. AP Photo/Paul SancyaOur results showed that reducing these outbreaks through a 40 percent reduction in phosphorus runoff to the Lake Erie Basin would save swimmers, boaters and fishermen $800,000 to $970,000 per year by reducing the need for them to travel the extra distance to avoid algal blooms.Just this spring, Ohio declared the western Lake Erie watershed to be “impaired” by algal blooms, meaning it does not meet federal water quality standards. Our study provides one measurement of Ohio residents’ willingness to pay for a cleaner lake.Avoiding a major oil spillPeople can choose different destinations to avoid dirty beaches or algae outbreaks. But in the case of large-scale environmental disasters, such as the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, vacationers are more likely to cancel their trips altogether.In a study using survey data on canceled vacation trips to Northwest Florida in the year following the BP oil spill, I worked with other economists to estimate the decrease in economic value to Northwest Florida coastal towns. We found that the spill caused a 9 percent drop in trips to Northwest Florida beaches, causing total economic losses of $252 million to $332 million across the Florida panhandle. Those losses represent decisions to spend vacation time and money in places where there was less risk of encountering polluted beaches.The Gulf coast stretches from western Florida to Texas and has numerous beaches and fishing towns, so this sum is probably just a small fraction of economic harm caused by the spill due to canceled travel.Jacksonville, Florida, on the Atlantic coast, benefited after the BP spill as travelers avoided the Gulf coast.The value of pricing natureContrary to some environmentalists’ fears, putting a price on natural resources has encouraged decision-makers to recognize that natural capital is finite. Before, it was easy to assume that they were free to exploit. Now economic valuation research can help decision makers answer questions such as how much damage the BP spill did to natural resources, and whether the benefits of the EPA’s Acid Rain Program exceeded the costs. Assigning dollar values to natural resources makes it possible to use the power of markets to design policies and regulations that benefit all. The Anatomy of Fear Free webinar for job seekers on best interview answers, hosted by Goodwill June 11 LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply Please enter your comment! Support conservation and fish with NEW Florida specialty license plate TAGStheconversation.com Previous articleWendell Wilkie: A statesman for the agesNext articleThe best news of the week Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Please enter your name here Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address herelast_img read more

What a $15k Tax Credit Could Mean for Homeownership

first_img Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News Still, a tax credit wouldn’t fix all the obstacles that prevent homeownership—the study also revealed that those who already face such hardships—especially Black and Latinx potential homeowners, would benefit less than their White counterparts.”Even though a tax credit for first-time homebuyers would likely stimulate minority homeownership, it could still disproportionately benefit white and Asian Americans who are better positioned to buy because of better access to credit and higher incomes,” Zillow’s researchers noted. “Also, recipients could only benefit from the credit if enough homes at affordable price tiers are available on the market. Competition for homes remains fierce with homes selling at a historically fast pace. This strong demand, coupled with tight inventory, is contributing to rapidly rising prices, which could also inadvertently affect the utility of the tax credit for those who need it the most.” After the Great Recession in 2008 sent the housing industry into a tailspin, the Obama administration launched a tax credit for first-time homebuyers.The plan was to motivate consumers to buy their first home by offering them a tax credit of $7,500 in 2008 and $8,000 in 2009 and 2010 via the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA).The credit expired a decade ago due to the terms of the legislation, but, now, President Joe Biden has floated a similar proposal, and researchers are examining what a refundable, advanceable tax credit of up to $15,000 for first-time homebuyers might mean to the market.A Zillow study suggests the tax credit, on top of the American Rescue Plan, which has already been signed into law, “could catapult millions of renter households into first-time homeownership.”The research, available in full on Zillow.com, showed that a $15,000 tax credit could cover the entire down payment for homes in 40 of the 50 largest U.S. metros.”Legislation that reduces barriers to homeownership could allow millions of renter households to finally enjoy the stability and wealth-building owning a home can provide,” Zillow Economic Analyst Alexandra Lee said.Considering the relatively low level at which renters are able to save, that $15,000 could push them as much as 14 years ahead toward home buying; it conceivably could cover the entire down payment.”In 2020, a 3.5% down payment on a typical home sold was less than $15,000 in 40 out of the largest 50 U.S. metros.  In 30 out of the largest 50 metros, even a 5% down payment on the typical U.S. home would be completely covered by a $15,000 tax credit,” Zillow reported. Sign up for DS News Daily Previous: Artificial Intelligence: The ‘Crystal Ball for Servicers’ Next: Home Renovations Rise in Wake of the New Norm Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago  Print This Post About Author: Christina Hughes Babb Related Articles Christina Hughes Babb is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, she has been a reporter, editor, and publisher in the Dallas area for more than 15 years. During her 10 years at Advocate Media and Dallas Magazine, she published thousands of articles covering local politics, real estate, development, crime, the arts, entertainment, and human interest, among other topics. She has won two national Mayborn School of Journalism Ten Spurs awards for nonfiction, and has penned pieces for Texas Monthly, Salon.com, Dallas Observer, Edible, and the Dallas Morning News, among others. center_img Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / What a $15k Tax Credit Could Mean for Homeownership Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago March 16, 2021 9,714 Views 2021-03-16 Christina Hughes Babb Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Share 1Save What a $15k Tax Credit Could Mean for Homeownership The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Subscribelast_img read more

Leverkusen reject Kai Havertz transfer request to join Chelsea

first_img Loading… However, Leverkusen’s season is not over yet – and they face Rangers in the Europa League. According to the Metro, Havertz is desperate for the chance to join Chelsea and wants a deal concluded by the end of next week. That would mean that the German would play no role in their European campaign, something that has been rejected by the club, report Bild. Lampard wants to conclude his transfer business soon Read Also: Napoli seal signing of Victor Osimhen – Report It could mean that Chelsea may have to wait as long as August 21 when the Europa League is over. At the moment, there is no nightmare scenario with the transfer very much on the table but Lampard wants to conclude business swiftly. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Promoted Content8 Things To Expect If An Asteroid Hits Our PlanetCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable Way8 Things You Didn’t Know About Coffee11 Most Immersive Game To Play On Your Table Top18 Cities With Neverending Tourist-FlowBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?What Happens To Your Brain When You Play Too Much Video Games?13 kids at weddings who just don’t give a hootThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read MoreThe Best Geek Movies Of All Time5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parkscenter_img Kai Havertz request has been rejected by Bayer Leverkusen chiefs as he looks to secure a switch to Chelsea. The Blues have made the Germany international a top target going into the transfer window. Frank Lampard has moved quickly to secure all the signings he has demanded. Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner have already joined while further plots are planned for the likes of Nick Pope, Declan Rice and Ben Chilwell. But the next on the list is Havertz, and the midfielder is keen on making the switch. After Leverkusen failed to qualify for the Champions League through the Bundesliga, that made up the 21-year-old’s mind. And with Chelsea securing football in Europe’s most prestigious competition, that has seen the youngster decide on where he wants to go.Advertisementlast_img read more

Tipp Camogie team face the Dubs

first_imgDublin will face Tipperary in Portlaoise from 5 o’clock.Tipp are coming into the game  off the back of a hard fought win last weekend against Derry.The Dublin senior hurlers are playing afterwards and Tipp camogie manager Brian Boyle appealed for as many Tipp supporters as possible to go support the camogie team this evening In group two Derry versus Kilkenny gets underway at half-past two In other games..in Group 1, Offaly host Galway in Birr at 2.30, while the meeting of Wexford versus Limerick will provide the curtain raiser to the men’s qualifier at Innovate Wexford Park, with throw-in at 5pm.last_img read more