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Landscape amenities and local development: A review of migration, regional economic and hedonic pricing studies

Fabian Waltert and Felix Schläpfer

Ecological Economics, 2010, vol. 70, issue 2, 141-152

Abstract: With rapid urban expansion and loss of open space, attractive local landscapes will continue to gain importance in location decisions and on political agendas. The present study reviews the evidence on the local economic role of landscape amenities from two major strands of empirical research, migration and regional economic models, and hedonic pricing models. Following common amenity definitions we identify 71 relevant peer-reviewed studies and systematically assess the reported effects of the landscape amenity variables. The migration and regional economic studies suggest that migrants are attracted by amenities nearly as often as by low taxes. Reported effects of amenities on income and employment are less consistent. The hedonic studies suggest that nature reserves and land cover diversity have mostly, open space and forest often, and agricultural land rarely positive effects on housing prices. Studies at larger geographic scales and studies involving urban areas were more likely to identify significant amenity effects. Some limitations of the evidence may be overcome with better datasets and modeling approaches. However, in line with other recent work, the limitations also highlight the need for complementary information from the analysis of political preferences for land-use management.

Keywords: Landscape; amenities; Migration; Local; development; Hedonic; pricing; Environmental; valuation; Regional; economic; modeling (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2010:i:2:p:141-152