IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Incentive-Based Land Use Policies and Water Quality in the Chesapeake Bay

  • Walls, Margaret


    (Resources for the Future)

  • McConnell, Virginia


    (Resources for the Future)

Abstract The activities conducted on land surrounding the Chesapeake Bay directly affect pollution levels in the Bay, and they do so in complex and varied ways. Policy attention has been focused, for the most part, on modifying these activities within a particular land use category but not on wholesale changes in land use. For example, farmers are encouraged to use “best management practices” (BMPs) that focus on fertilizer use, crop covers, and the like; residential and commercial developers are encouraged to manage stormwater runoff; and wastewater treatment plants are required to meet technology-based standards. But the amount of land in urbanized uses relative to the amount in farming, forestry, and open space has not been given the attention it deserves. In this paper, we discuss the ways that land use affects pollution in the Bay. We then analyze three economic incentive-based policies that could be used to alter land use patterns—purchase of development rights (PDRs), transferable development rights (TDRs), and development impact fees. The strengths and weaknesses of each policy are discussed. Finally, we discuss the issue of policy coordination, i.e., synchronizing policies focused directly on land use, such as TDRs, with input-based taxes. More research on this important policy issue is needed.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-04-20.

in new window

Date of creation: 02 Apr 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-04-20
Contact details of provider: Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Boyd, James, 2000. "The New Face of the Clean Water Act: A Critical Review of the EPA's Proposed TMDL Rules," Discussion Papers dp-00-12, Resources For the Future.
  2. Barry C. Field & Jon M. Conrad, 1975. "Economic Issues in Programs of Transferable Development Rights," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(4), pages 331-340.
  3. Paul Thorsnes & Gerald P. W. Simons, 1999. "Letting The Market Preserve Land: The Case For A Market-Driven Transfer Of Development Rights Program," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 17(2), pages 256-266, 04.
  4. Robert N. Stavins, 2007. "Environmental Economics," NBER Working Papers 13574, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Marc O. Ribaudo, 1989. "Targeting the Conservation Reserve Program to Maximize Water Quality Benefits," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 65(4), pages 320-332.
  6. Levinson, Arik, 1997. "Why oppose TDRs?: Transferable development rights can increase overall development," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 283-296, June.
  7. Brueckner, Jan K., 1997. "Infrastructure financing and urban development:: The economics of impact fees," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 383-407, December.
  8. Yinger, John, 1998. "The Incidence of Development Fees and Special Assessments," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(n. 1), pages 23-41, March.
  9. David E. Mills, 1989. "Is Zoning a Negative-Sum Game?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 65(1), pages 1-12.
  10. James Shortle & David Abler & Richard Horan, 1998. "Research Issues in Nonpoint Pollution Control," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(3), pages 571-585, April.
  11. Walls, Margaret & McConnell, Virginia & Kopits, Elizabeth, 2003. "How Well Can Markets for Development Rights Work? Evaluating a Farmland Preservation Program," Discussion Papers dp-03-08, Resources For the Future.
  12. Cabe, Richard & Herriges, Joseph A., 1992. "The regulation of non-point-source pollution under imperfect and asymmetric information," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 134-146, March.
  13. Robert W. Hahn, 1984. "Market Power and Transferable Property Rights," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(4), pages 753-765.
  14. Segerson, Kathleen, 1988. "Uncertainty and incentives for nonpoint pollution control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 87-98, March.
  15. Stavins Robert N., 1995. "Transaction Costs and Tradeable Permits," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 133-148, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-04-20. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Webmaster)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.