Social interaction and crowding are reported to be important determinants of recreational outdoor activities. As both are determined by the total number of simultaneous participants in the recreational activity, the effect of increasing the number of participants is generally ambiguous. An analogue to Leibenstein's (1950) bandwagon and snob effect in demand is presented, and these theoretical models are extended to allow for different congestion effects at different congestion levels. Empirical evidence from a contingent valuation (CV) study on Norwegian recreational Atlantic salmon fishing demonstrates that the crowding effect dominates the social interaction effect for all levels of congestion. Moreover, the marginal crowding effect is found to be diminishing.
JEL Classification Codes: Q21, Q22, Q26