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Voting on Open Space: An Analysis of the Decision to Hold a Referendum and of Referendum Results

  • Uwasu, Michinori
  • Nelson, Erik
  • Polasky, Stephen

A modified version of this article has been published in the May 2007 issue of the journal Ecological Economics. This paper presents the first comprehensive analysis of municipal-level open space referenda, both the decision to hold a referendum and referendum results, across the entire contiguous United States. We find that municipalities populated by more educated, environmentally aware and politically left-leaning people and that experienced substantial population growth in surrounding areas were more likely to hold open space referenda than other municipalities. Overall, there are fewer statistically significant relationships in the referenda results estimation than in the selection estimation. Referenda support was significantly affected only by the finance mechanism, unemployment rate, education and region dummy variables. We find limited evidence of selection bias in the estimated referenda results equations.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/13837
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Paper provided by University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics in its series Staff Papers with number 13837.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ags:umaesp:13837
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  1. Kotchen, Matthew J. & Powers, Shawn M., 2006. "Explaining the appearance and success of voter referenda for open-space conservation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 373-390, July.
  2. Deacon, Robert T & Shapiro, Perry, 1975. "Private Preference for Collective Goods Revealed Through Voting on Referenda," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(5), pages 943-55, December.
  3. Jeffrey Kline & Dennis Wichelns, 1994. "Using Referendum Data to Characterize Public Support for Purchasing Development Rights to Farmland," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 70(2), pages 223-233.
  4. Ray C. Fair, 1976. "The Effects of Economic Events on Votes for President," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 418, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  5. Dubin, Jeffrey A. & Kiewiet, Roderick D. & Noussair, Charles N., 1991. "Voting on Growth Control Measures: Preferences and Strategies," Working Papers 777, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  6. Matthew Turner, 2003. "Landscape Preferences and Patterns of Residential Development," Working Papers mturner-03-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  7. Elena G. Irwin & Nancy E. Bockstael, 2001. "The Problem of Identifying Land Use Spillovers: Measuring the Effects of Open Space on Residential Property Values," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(3), pages 698-704.
  8. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  9. Khan, M. & Matsusaka, J.G., 1995. "Demand for Environment Goods: Evidence from Voting Patterns on California Initiatives," Discussion Papers 1995_08, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  10. Philippe Thalmann, 2004. "The Public Acceptance of Green Taxes: 2 Million Voters Express Their Opinion," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 119(1_2), pages 179-217, 04.
  11. Bucholtz, Shawn & Geoghegan, Jacqueline & Lynch, Lori, 2003. "Capitalization of Open Spaces into Housing Values and the Residential Property Tax Revenue Impacts of Agricultural Easement Programs," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 32(1), April.
  12. Vossler, Christian A. & Kerkvliet, Joe, 2003. "A criterion validity test of the contingent valuation method: comparing hypothetical and actual voting behavior for a public referendum," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 631-649, May.
  13. Francine Romero & Adrian Liserio, 2002. "Saving Open Spaces: Determinants of 1998 and 1999 "Antisprawl" Ballot Measures," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 83(1), pages 341-352.
  14. Elizabeth Marshall, 2004. "Open-Space Amenities, Interacting Agents, and Equilibrium Landscape Structure," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 80(2), pages 272-293.
  15. Michael Howell-Moroney, 2004. "What Are the Determinants of Open-Space Ballot Measures? An Extension of the Research," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 85(1), pages 169-179.
  16. Felix Schl├Ąpfer & Nick Hanley, 2003. "Do Local Landscape Patterns Affect the Demand for Landscape Amenities Protection?," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 21-34.
  17. Fischel, William A., 1979. "Determinants of voting on environmental quality: A study of a New Hampshire pulp mill referendum," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 107-118, June.
  18. Elena G. Irwin, 2002. "The Effects of Open Space on Residential Property Values," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 78(4), pages 465-480.
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