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    Author(s): David J. Lewis; Ralph J. Alig
    Date: 2014
    Source: Res. Pap. PNW-RP-600 Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 44 p.
    Publication Series: Research Paper (RP)
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.83 MB)


    This paper develops a plot-level spatial econometric land-use model and estimates it with U.S. Geological Survey Land Cover Trends (LCT) geographic information system panel data for the western halves of the states of Oregon and Washington. The discrete-choice framework we use models plot-scale choices of the three dominant land uses in this region: forest, agriculture, and urban development. The results provide a technical foundation for developing larger scale models from the LCT database. In particular, we develop a random-effects estimation method for dealing with the spatially clustered sample design underlying the LCT. We also exploit the increased spatial information content available in the LCT by exploring the estimation of a fully spatial multinomial discrete-choice land-use model by including measures of land-use agglomeration economies as independent variables in estimation. Estimation of the spatial econometric model includes a novel combination of panel-data random parameters logit estimation with instrumental variables implemented within the recently developed control function approach. The estimated econometric model is used to project landscape change in the presence of alternative assumptions regarding future urban returns. Our results indicate that variation in urban returns on the order of what was experienced in the housing boom and bust of the 2000s generates a wide range of predicted future land-use shares in developed uses. The Puget Lowland ecoregion has by far the most sensitive landscape projections in response to wide swings in urban returns.

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Lewis, David J.; Alig, Ralph J. 2014. A spatial econometric analysis of land-use change with land cover trends data: an application to the Pacific Northwest. Res. Pap. PNW-RP-600 Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 44 p.


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    Land use, spatial modeling, econometric, resource economics, land development.

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