The economic impacts of LULUs
The author examines some of the issues and controversies that arise when facilities with noxious environmental, social, or economic qualities (LULUs, or locally unwanted land uses) locate in communities. A taxonomy of LULUs, based on economic growth features, is developed and the effects of five specific kinds of LULUs: interstate highways; large dams; medium-security and maximum-security prisons; commercial nuclear power plants; and gambling casinos, are described. The author uses quasi-experimental control-group methods to assess the economic impacts of these facilities on US counties during the period 1972 – 94. It is shown that few real negative effects can in fact be attributed to LULUs. However, only interstate highways measurably stimulate aggregate employment.
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