The Effects of Climate on Leisure Demand: Evidence from North America
We use data on millions of bike-share trips to show how climate change will affect outdoor recreation. By midcentury, recreation will increase due to fewer cold days each year.
There is extensive research documenting the economic consequences of climate change, yet our understanding of climate impacts on nonmarket activities remains incomplete. Here, we investigate the effect of weather on leisure demand. Using data from 27 million bicycle trips in 16 North American cities, we estimate how outdoor recreation responds to daily weather fluctuations. Combining these estimates with time-use survey data and climate projections, we project annual surplus gains of $894 million from climate-induced cycling by mid-century. Extrapolating to a broad measure of outdoor recreation, our back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest climate-induced benefits of $20.7 billion per year.
- Across North America, recreational cyclists dislike cold temperatures much more than they dislike hot temperatures.
- By 2060, climate change will reduce the number of cold days each year, inducing greater demand for recreation.
- Using nationally representative time-use data, we estimate annual economic gains of $20.7 billion for climate-induced recreation by 2060.
- Regions in the Northeast, Midwest, and West Coast stand to gain the most.
On the Issues — Sep 22, 2023
On the Issues: Equitable Climate Policy, Value of a Statistical Life, and More
A biweekly newsletter connecting global current events, pressing climate and energy policy news, and economics research from RFF scholars. This week: equitable climate policy, value of a statistical life, and more.
Explainer — Sep 22, 2023
Transmission 102: Building New Transmission Lines
This explainer reviews the actors involved in transmission expansion and the barriers involved in constructing new lines.
Explainer — Sep 22, 2023
Transmission 101: Transmission Planning
This explainer discusses the nuts and bolts of transmission planning, relevant actors, and recent policy developments.
Report — Sep 21, 2023
Expanding the Possibilities: When and Where Can Grid-Enhancing Technologies, Distributed Energy Resources, and Microgrids Support the Grid of the Future?
This report discusses three categories of solutions that can bolster resilience, reliability, and affordability of electricity transmission: grid-enhancing technologies, distributed energy resources, and microgrids.