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Do factors contributing to appearance and success of conservation referenda in the West differ from those found in other regions of the United States?

Chad Chriestenson () and Dawn Thilmany ()
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Chad Chriestenson: University of Wisconsin – Madison

The Annals of Regional Science, 2020, vol. 65, issue 1, No 5, 83-104

Abstract: Abstract As urban growth and competition for natural resources heighten, the attention to preserving such resources, including land, is also growing. As one example, the appearance and passage of conservation referenda represents a high-profile, grassroots political effort across the USA. In this study, factors influencing the appearance and passage of ballot initiatives in Colorado are compared to previous literature, identifying potential regional variation in such drivers. Results suggest that, while some place-based characteristics like total population and educational attainment have a consistent effect, the role of income and households with children does not. It appears support for conservation is much more broadly distributed across the population in the West and that residents view conservation as an ongoing activity, not a singular event. Likewise, there is some evidence that Western voters view agriculture and conservation as mutually exclusive. Although fundamental results do not change, accounting for spatial effects alters the magnitude and significance of factors affecting both appearance and passage of conservation referenda.

JEL-codes: C21 Q38 D72 P48 R11 R58 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s00168-020-00975-7

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