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Empirical evidence suggests that Gossen’s law of decreasing marginal utility does not always apply in cultural, hobby and recreational contexts. This can have significant implications for efficient resource allocation. In the presence of increasing marginal utility, benefits are maximised by concentrating resource access in a small number of individuals, rather than widely distributing access. Satisfaction ratings from a panel of 698 hunters who undertook 2,917 red deer hunts provide a test of Gossen’s law with respect to number of deer killed. Latent class ordered logit models outperformed random parameters models and provided evidence of weak non-decreasing marginal utility for all classes of hunter. Study results are applied to test potential efficiency gains from imposing a one red deer per hunt bag limit.


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