Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Yun, Seong

Committee Member

Kim, Ayoung

Committee Member

Petrolia, Daniel R.

Committee Member

Partyka, Melissa

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Agricultural Economics

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Agricultural Economics


High levels of Enterococcus are the most frequent reason for beach closures on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and can be made worse by human activities. When beaches close, tourism can decrease, affecting sales. This study aims to 1) analyze the regional economic impact of beach closures at the county level, 2) show empirically how serious the impact of high levels of Enterococcus are compared to other causes of beach closures, and 3) discuss the policy implications for regional economies linked to beach closures. I use a response function approach with beach closure and county-level monthly gross taxable sales data. Results indicate that Enterococcus-related beach closures have significantly negative effects on sales, particularly in the Accommodations and Food Services sector. The effects of bacteria-related beach closures are not much different than effects of other causes of beach closures. The results support policy recommendations for reduced beach grooming and improved sewer infrastructure.


I am grateful for financial support through the “Building Resilience for Oysters, Blue Crab, and Spotted Seatrout to Environmental Trends and Variability in the Gulf of Mexico” project provided by NOAA RESTORE Science Program [no. NA19NOS4510194].