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Valuing rights of first refusal for farmland preservation policy


  • Scott Malcolm
  • Joshua Duke
  • John Mackenzie


The economic literature has failed to derive an explanation for the current value of rights of first refusal (ROFR) that may or may not manifest at some future time. A model explains this ex ante value in the context of agricultural land that may be converted to developed uses in the future. The results should help governments decide what prices should be paid to farmers for ROFR in urbanizing areas. ROFR ensure that governments have the opportunity to match a land developer's price for important agricultural parcels. Governments can then impose a conservation easement and market the land to farmers. Compared to traditional conservation easement policy, the ROFR variant should be cost effective because only parcels truly threatened with conversion are preserved.

Suggested Citation

  • Scott Malcolm & Joshua Duke & John Mackenzie, 2005. "Valuing rights of first refusal for farmland preservation policy," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(5), pages 285-288.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:12:y:2005:i:5:p:285-288
    DOI: 10.1080/1350485042000338671

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. B. Delworth Gardner, 1977. "The Economics of Agricultural Land Preservation," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 59(5), pages 1027-1036.
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    Cited by:

    1. Joshua Duke & Lori Lynch, 2007. "Gauging support for innovative farmland preservation techniques," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 40(2), pages 123-155, June.
    2. Joshua M. Duke & Lori Lynch, 2006. "Farmland Retention Techniques: Property Rights Implications and Comparative Evaluation," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 82(2), pages 189-213.

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