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ECONOMIC EFFICIENCY VS. DISTRIBUTIVE EQUITY: BLM'S USE OF ECONOMIC ANALYSIS IN FACT AND FICTION

John Loomis

Western Journal of Agricultural Economics, 1984, vol. 09, issue 1, 7

Abstract: In a recent paper in this Journal entitled "Economic Efficiency vs. Distributive Equity: The Sagebrush Rebellion" Obermiller provides misleading evidence about the role of efficiency criterion in land use allocations by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). In using this "evidence" he comes to conclusions that miss other important economic explanations for the so-called Sagebrush Rebellion. A reader unfamiliar with the actual economic analyses performed by BLM might be led to believe that the field offices' active use of efficiency as a decision criterion to implement the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) is one explanation of the origin of the Sagebrush Rebellion. Evidence is presented herein that shows little or none of the efficiency analyses implied by an economists' reading of FLPMA and BLM's Planning Regulations (Department of Interior, 1979) have ever been implemented, let alone used by area and district managers to make decisions. Rather, arguments are presented that show it is generally not in these managers' self interest to place emphasis on efficiency. An alternative explanation of the source of the Sagebrush Rebellion is presented that relies on the notion of property rights.

Keywords: Land; Economics/Use (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1984
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ags:wjagec:32380

DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.32380

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