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Does Public Lands Policy Affect Local Wage Growth?


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  • David J. Lewis
  • Gary L. Hunt
  • Andrew J. Plantinga


The effects on wage growth of management practices applied on public lands in the Northern Forest region of the United States are quantified. A central objective is to determine if the management of public lands for preservationist uses results in lower average wages. This is a frequent claim made by critics of land preservation who argue that preservationist management, by prohibiting resource extraction, causes the composition of employment to shift from high-wage jobs in resource-based manufacturing to low-wage jobs in the service sector. A model of simultaneous employment and net migration growth is estimated with data on non-metropolitan counties over the period 1990 to 1999 and applied in a recursive relationship to wage growth. In earlier studies, models of this type have typically been specified in levels. Time-series evidence that supports a preference for growth rates is provided as the form for such models. Exogenous variables in this model include the 1990 shares of the county land base that are publicly owned and managed for preservationist (non-extractive) uses and multiple (including extractive) uses. It was found that wage growth rates are not significantly affected by the shares of land under either management regime. As well, recent declines in national forest timber sales are found to have no effect on wage growth. Copyright 2003 Gatton College of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky..

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Gatton College of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky in its journal Growth and Change.

Volume (Year): 34 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 64-86

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Handle: RePEc:bla:growch:v:34:y:2003:i:1:p:64-86

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Cited by:
  1. Gebremeskel Gebremariam & Tesfa Gebremedhin & Peter Schaeffer & Tim Phipps & Randall Jackson, 2007. "A Spatial Panel Simultaneous-Equations Model of Business Growth, Migration Behavior, Local Public Services and Household Income in Appalachia," Working Papers 200711, Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University.
  2. Canavire-Bacarreza, Gustavo & Hanauer, Merlin M., 2013. "Estimating the Impacts of Bolivia’s Protected Areas on Poverty," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 265-285.
  3. Gebremeskel Gebremariam, 2007. "Modeling Small Business Growth, Migration Behavior, Local Public Services and Household Income in Appalachia: A Spatial Simultaneous Equations Approach," Working Papers 200703, Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University.
  4. Maureen Kilkenny, 2010. "Urban/Regional Economics And Rural Development," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 449-470.
  5. Paul Ferraro & Merlin Hanauer, 2011. "Protecting Ecosystems and Alleviating Poverty with Parks and Reserves: ‘Win-Win’ or Tradeoffs?," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 48(2), pages 269-286, February.
  6. Fabian Waltert & Felix Schlaepfer, 2007. "The role of landscape amenities in regional development: a survey of migration, regional economic and hedonic pricing studies," SOI - Working Papers 0710, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
  7. Hunt, Gary L. & Kerkvliet, Joe & Plantinga, Andrew J., 2004. "The Economic Consequences Of Reserving Federal Land For Biodiversity Protection In The U.S. Pacific Northwest," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20288, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  8. Gebremeskel Gebremariam & Tesfa Gebremedhin & Peter Schaeffer & Randall Jackson & Tim Phipps, 2007. "An Empirical Analysis of Employment, Migration, Local Public Services and Regional Income Growth in Appalachia," Working Papers 200710, Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University.
  9. Waltert, Fabian & Schläpfer, Felix, 2010. "Landscape amenities and local development: A review of migration, regional economic and hedonic pricing studies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 141-152, December.


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