The spatial range of public goods revealed through referendum voting
Robert T Deacon and
University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series from Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara
Billions of dollars are now spent annually in the United States and Europe for spatially delineated environmental services such as agricultural landscape management and river restoration programs, yet little is known about the spatial distribution of the benefits from these policies. This paper develops a framework for recovering information on this question from the spatial pattern of votes cast for referenda on the provision of spatially delineated public goods. We specify a model linking voter support for environmental improvement to the distance at which such improvements are expected to occur. The empirical application is to a river restoration referendum in the Swiss canton of Bern. Our results indicate that the benefits from river restoration have a strong local component, sufficiently strong that voter approval would not occur if only canton-wide benefits were at stake. Surprisingly, support of river restoration is no greater, and in some specifications is actually lower, in locations where rivers are a prominent feature in the environment.
Keywords: voting; local public goods; valuation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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Journal Article: The Spatial Range of Public Goods Revealed Through Referendum Voting (2010)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:cdl:ucsbec:qt1pf1369j
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