Using Referendum Data to Characterize Public Support for Purchasing Development Rights to Farmland
An econometric model that describes public support for farmland preservation programs as a function of local land use patterns and socioeconomic data is developed. Two versions of the model are estimated using data from referenda conducted in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island during 1982 through 1990. Results suggest that support for referenda that purchase development rights is stronger in counties and towns with both rapidly increasing population and where land and house values have increased at higher rates. Environmental factors such as the prevalence of resource-sensitive lands are also significant in describing the public's motivation to preserve farmland.
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