WIT Press

Costs And Benefits Of Developing Nature Areas: Regional Versus National Impact


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WIT Press


E. J. Bos & J. M. Vleugel


Developing nature areas generates various benefits for the economy. The main benefits concern growing incomes for the recreation sector (hotels, camping, restaurants, etc.), higher prices of houses, etc. In this study the costs and benefits of developing nature in a rural area in the south-east of the Netherlands have been analyzed. Our study revealed that effects for the regional economy are considerable. On the national level, however, these effects appear to be negligible. This is due to the fact that on an interregional level the effects largely balance each other out. Thus, nature development in a certain region will increase the number of visitors to that region, but at the expense of other regions. In other words, due to substitution effects the net interregional effect of nature development on recreational spending is negligible. This raises the question whether the national government should finance regional nature development. Keywords: economic valuation, regional impact, national impact. 1 Introduction Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) has become an important tool for supporting policy decision making on public investments project such as infrastructure and land use scenarios. In this article, the impact of a nature development scenario in the Netherlands will be elaborated, first from a regional perspective and next from a national perspective. The question that will be elaborated on in this paper is whether the scale at which the evaluation of such a regional investment plan takes place has an impact on the outcome of the CBA.


economic valuation, regional impact, national impact.