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 United States. This analysis provides the first evidence of the relative historical importance of markets and federal farm policies affecting land-use changes nationally. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Land Economics is the property of University of Wisconsin Press and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)
If the United States chooses to implement a greenhouse gas reduction program, it would be necessary to decide whether to include carbon sequestration policies—such as those that promote forestation and discourage deforestation—as part of the domestic portfolio of compliance activities. We investigate the cost of forest-based carbon sequestration by analyzing econometrically micro-data on revealed landowner preferences, modeling six major private land uses in a comprehensive analysis of the contiguous United States. The econometric estimates are used to simulate landowner responses to sequestration policies. We treat key commodity prices as endogenous and predict carbon storage changes with a carbon sink model. Our estimated sequestration costs exceed those from previous engineering cost analyses and sectoral optimization models. Our estimated sequestration supply function is similar to the carbon abatement supply function from energy-based analyses, suggesting that forest-based carbon sequestration merits consideration in a cost-effective portfolio of domestic US climate change strategies.
We conduct a national-scale analysis of the determinants of agricultural land values. The theoretical basis for the study is a spatial city model with stochastic returns to future land development. The empirical model of agricultural land prices is estimated with a cross-section on approximately three thousand counties in the contiguous US. The results provide evidence that option values associated with irreversible and uncertain land development are capitalized into current farmland values. For each county, we decompose the current agricultural land value into components measuring rents from agricultural production and rents from future land development.