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Pioneers of Rural Sprawl in the Rocky Mountain West

  • Weiler, Stephan

    (Center for the Study of Rural America, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City)

  • Theobald, David

    (CO State U)

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    Urban sprawl has been criticized for its disproportionate impact on the environment. Yet urban areas are in fact less land-intensive than recent rural development patterns. Residential first-movers into such virgin areas may spark waves of ensuing development without incorporating the true social costs of their pioneering. This paper first explores both benefit/cost and game-theoretic frameworks for understanding the private strategies and social implications of such pioneer developments. Evidence regarding regional land-use intensities, path-dependence of rural development, and accumulating social costs of rural sprawl are then presented to highlight the relevance of this paper's theoretical perspective in the Rocky Mountain West. The primary conclusion of the combined theoretical and empirical work is that pioneering development in innovative rural locations is likely relative to the social optimum, suggesting a rationale for public policy.

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    Article provided by Southern Regional Science Association in its journal Review of Regional Studies.

    Volume (Year): 33 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 264-83

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    Handle: RePEc:rre:publsh:v:33:y:2003:i:3:p:264-83
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    1. Jan K. Brueckner, 2000. "Urban Sprawl: Diagnosis and Remedies," International Regional Science Review, SAGE Publishing, vol. 23(2), pages 160-171, April.
    2. Stephan Weiler, 2000. "Pioneers and Settlers in Lo-Do Denver: Private Risk and Public Benefits in Urban Redevelopment," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 37(1), pages 167-179, January.
    3. J Landis & M Zhang, 1998. "The second generation of the California urban futures model. Part 1: Model logic and theory," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 25(5), pages 657-666, September.
    4. R White & G Engelen, 1993. "Cellular automata and fractal urban form: a cellular modelling approach to the evolution of urban land-use patterns," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 25(8), pages 1175-1199, August.
    5. John C. Harsanyi, 1968. "Games with Incomplete Information Played by "Bayesian" Players Part II. Bayesian Equilibrium Points," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 14(5), pages 320-334, January.
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