Explaining the appearance and success of voter referenda for open-space conservation
This paper provides an empirical investigation of the factors that in?uence the appearance and success of voter referenda for policies designed to promote open-space conservation. We take advantage of a data set that includes detailed information on all such referenda that occurred in the United States between 1998 and 2003. Combining these data with information from the U.S. Census, we conduct a nationwide analysis along with focused analyses of referenda that occurred in New Jersey and Massachusetts. Among the questions that we consider are the following: What factors contribute to the appearance of an open- space referendum in a jurisdiction? How does an initiative's funding mechanism, such as a bond, property tax, sales tax, or income tax, affect the way citizens vote? How responsive are favorable votes to the costs of an open-space initiative? And how do socioeconomic characteristics affect demand for public provision of open space?
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