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What Drives Land Use Change in the United States? A National Analysis of Landowner Decisions

  • Lubowski, Ruben

    (USDA Economic Research Service)

  • Plantinga, Andrew

    (Oregon State U)

  • Stavins, Robert

    (Harvard U and Resources for the Future)

Land-use changes involve important economic and environmental effects with implications for international trade, global climate change, wildlife, and other policy issues. We use an econometric model to identify factors driving land-use change in the United States between 1982 and 1997. We quantify the effects of net returns to alternative land uses on private landowners’ decisions to allocate land among six major uses, drawing on detailed micro-data on land use and land quality that are comprehensive of the contiguous U.S. This analysis provides the first evidence of the relative historical importance of markets and Federal farm policies affecting land-use changes nationally.

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Paper provided by Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government in its series Working Paper Series with number rwp07-059.

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Date of creation: Dec 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp07-059
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  1. Gerald C. Nelson & Daniel Hellerstein, 1997. "Do Roads Cause Deforestation? Using Satellite Images in Econometric Analysis of Land Use," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(1), pages 80-88.
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  3. Michael J. Roberts & Ruben N. Lubowski, 2007. "Enduring Impacts of Land Retirement Policies: Evidence from the Conservation Reserve Program," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 83(4), pages 516-538.
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  7. Gerald C. Nelson & GVirginia Harris & Steven W. Stone, 2001. "Deforestation, Land Use, and Property Rights: Empirical Evidence from Darién, Panama," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 77(2), pages 187-205.
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  12. Darius M. Adams & Ralph J. Alig & DBruce A. McCarl & John M. Callaway & Steven M. Winnett, 1999. "Minimum Cost Strategies for Sequestering Carbon in Forests," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 75(3), pages 360-374.
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  15. Ralph Alig & Darius Adams & Bruce McCarl & J. Callaway & Steven Winnett, 1997. "Assessing effects of mitigation strategies for global climate change with an intertemporal model of the U.S. forest and agriculture sectors," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 9(3), pages 259-274, April.
  16. Rust, John, 1987. "Optimal Replacement of GMC Bus Engines: An Empirical Model of Harold Zurcher," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(5), pages 999-1033, September.
  17. Maureen Cropper & Jyotsna Puri & Charles Griffiths, 2001. "Predicting the Location of Deforestation: The Role of Roads and Protected Areas in North Thailand," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 77(2), pages 172-186.
  18. Plantinga, Andrew J. & Ahn, Soeun, 2002. "Efficient Policies For Environmental Protection: An Econometric Analysis Of Incentives For Land Conversion And Retention," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 27(01), July.
  19. Schatzki, Todd, 2003. "Options, uncertainty and sunk costs:: an empirical analysis of land use change," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 86-105, July.
  20. Alig, Ralph J. & Adams, Darius M. & McCarl, Bruce A., 1998. "Impacts Of Incorporating Land Exchanges Between Forestry And Agriculture In Sector Models," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 30(02), December.
  21. Lubowski, Ruben N. & Bucholtz, Shawn & Claassen, Roger & Roberts, Michael J. & Cooper, Joseph C. & Gueorguieva, Anna & Johansson, Robert C., 2006. "Environmental Effects Of Agricultural Land-Use Change: The Role Of Economics And Policy," Economic Research Report 33591, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  22. Michael J. Roberts & Shawn Bucholtz, 2005. "Slippage in the Conservation Reserve Program or Spurious Correlation? A Comment," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(1), pages 244-250.
  23. Hoekman, Bernanrd & Ng, Francis & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2003. "Reducing agrcultural tariffs versus domestic support : what's more important for developing countries?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2918, The World Bank.
  24. Parks P. J. & Kramer R. A., 1995. "A Policy Simulation of the Wetlands Reserve Program," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 223-240, March.
  25. Lubowski, Ruben N. & Vesterby, Marlow & Bucholtz, Shawn & Baez, Alba & Roberts, Michael J., 2006. "Major Uses of Land in The United States, 2002," Economic Information Bulletin 7203, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  26. JunJie Wu, 2000. "Slippage Effects of the Conservation Reserve Program," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(4), pages 979-992.
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  28. Westcott, Paul C. & Price, J. Michael, 2001. "Analysis Of The U.S. Commodity Loan Program With Marketing Loan Provisions," Agricultural Economics Reports 34035, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  29. Thorsnes, Paul & McMillen, Daniel P, 1998. "Land Value and Parcel Size: A Semiparametric Analysis," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 233-44, November.
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