- مبلغ: ۸۶,۰۰۰ تومان
- مبلغ: ۹۱,۰۰۰ تومان
Statewide referenda for land conservation are likely to entail a disparity between people who vote on the referenda and those who live in proximity to conserved areas, which may lead to a lower probability of passage than a more local referendum. This paper examines trends in voting preferences on statewide land conservation referenda in Rhode Island using precinct-level voting data. We identify two similar referenda in 2004 and 2012 and estimate a first difference spatial regression model that seeks to understand the determinants of changes in support over time. Controlling for socioeconomic characteristics and political ideology, we find that referenda support is growing in densely populated communities relative to sparse ones, and there is a multiplicative effect of rapidly growing dense areas. This implies urban areas are becoming critical supporters for the preservation of farm, forest and open space lands, despite being non-proximate to lands at risk of development.
Measuring preferences for open space is important in order to correct market failures and conserve a socially optimal quantity of open space. One source of revealed preferences is voting outcomes on conservation referenda. This paper builds on prior work and suggests an added dimension to the existing literature by looking at trends in referenda approval over time through a first difference specification. Using this new framework, several key findings emerge. Population density is consistently tied to increasing levels of support over time, particularly in densely populated communities that are also experiencing growth. In our spatial model, we find statistically significant spatial error and lag coefficients, which indicate that both observed and unobserved spillover effects are occurring between nearby neighborhoods. This could suggest voters forming preferences based on nearby communities' density, growth or open space preservation or exposure to campaign efforts pulling these communities together. Our findings offer potential policy lessons. The first is to answer the question posed in the title of this paper: yes, urban areas can help sustain open space lands. Despite non-proximity to already conserved and possible conservation sites, support for conservation is growing in urban areas relative to rural areas. It may be that urban residents place a higher value on open space due to their experience with scarcity of undeveloped land. In this light, statewide referenda are an excellent means to harness urban voters' support and tax dollars. On the flip side, our results show that rural areas and especially rural areas not experiencing growth have declining support for conservation referenda relative to other areas.