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Farmland can confer significant public good benefits to society aside from its role in agricultural production. In this paper we investigate preferences of rural residents for the use of farmland as a recreational resource. In particular we use the choice experiment method to determine preferences for the development of farmland walking trails. Our modelling approach is to use a series of mixed logit models to assess the impact of alternative distributional assumptions for the cost coefficient on the welfare estimates associated with the provision of the trails. Our results reveal that using a mixture of discrete and continuous distributions to represent cost heterogeneity leads to a better model fit and lowest welfare estimates. Our results further reveal that Irish rural residents show positive preferences for the development of farmland walking trails in the Irish countryside.


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