What Drives Land-Use Change in the United States? A National Analysis of Landowner Decisions
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.
This paper is based, in part, on Lubowski's Ph.D. dissertation at Harvard University. The authors thank Michael Roberts, Patrick Sullivan, and two anonymous reviewers for very helpful comments and acknowledge financial support from the U.S. Department of Energy. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and may not be attributed to the Economic Research Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Bureau of Economic Research, or any other institution.
Ruben N. Lubowski & Andrew J. Plantinga & Robert N. Stavins, 2008. "What Drives Land-Use Change in the United States? A National Analysis of Landowner Decisions," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 84(4), pages 529-550. citation courtesy of