Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cost of Cobbing?

My doctoral dissertation research at UCLA under the advisement of Dr. Linwood Pendleton is focused on the non-market economics of surfing. The study of non-market economics seeks to understand the value of resources that do not have a "market" to determine their price. In other words, there is no generally accepted price for the use of a resource that is accessed without monetary cost.

Waves are a classic example of a non-market resource because access is typically free (excluding the price for parking). Ski resorts, on the other hand, are an example of a recreational amenity where the price is determined through a market.

Skiers are willing to pay upwards of $80 for a lift ticket - which means that a day of skiing at a resort is worth at least 80 bucks to an individual.

So how do we determine the value of a day of surfing and what is that value? What would you be willing to pay for a great surf session? $80? There are analytic methods to determine this value.

Now think about cobbing? You don't have to pay cash for cobbing - but cobbing clearly has a value. The question remains, what is that value.

Future research will be focused on the non-market value of cobbing. Cobbing likely has an extraordinarily high value. In following posts, we will explore a few case studies to illustrate the value of cobbing.