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Title:An Economic and Legal Analysis of Agricultural Preservation Statutes (land-Use, Right to Farm, Property Rights, Zoning)
Author(s):Connell, Michael Lynn
Department / Program:Economics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Economics, Agricultural
Abstract:There is growing public concern that we are losing prime agricultural land at an excessive rate that will ultimately endanger the agricultural production capacity of the nation. Many jurisdictions have enacted programs to slow the rate of farmland conversion. This work examines the extent of the conversion problem, the necessity of government action, and the arguments advanced to support preservation programs. Although the conclusion is reached that such programs are not justified on economic efficiency grounds; the different program types are examined and their effects are analyzed.
In addition, an empirical investigation is conducted to determine if the presence of an agricultural preservation statute was a statistically significant factor in the rate of farmland conversion. A sample of 676 SMSA counties is selected for study. Utilizing an ordinary least squares regression technique, the dependent variable, number of acres of cropland lost per county from 1978 to 1982, is regressed over a set of fifteen independent variables. The set of independent variables includes both market variables such as population change, per capita income growth, local soil quality and weather; as well the institutional variable--presence of an agricultural preservation statute. As expected, the market forces were significantly related to the rate of cropland loss, while the presence of a preservation program in the jurisdiction was not statistically significant. The analysis supports the position that these programs are not effective methods of resource reallocation. The primary effects of the programs appear to be income redistribution which may have been the underlying reason for their adoption in the first instance.
Issue Date:1986
Description:235 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1986.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8701468
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1986

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