Economic impact analysis, politics, economics, economic conditions, land protection


Many local government officials bemoan the formal protection of public lands as taking off the table a variety of economic activities that could help bolster local economies. In contrast some have found evidence that indicate that designations may be positively correlated with economic indicators. We investigate the conflicting beliefs regarding the economic impacts of federal conservation designations through statistical analysis of economic conditions using panel data to compare two counties housing the sizable Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM) to a set of counties matched on economic and demographic criteria. Our statistical analysis of economic conditions shows that after controlling for federal transfers, the Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument designation reduced the decade-to-decade growth in total nonfarm payrolls by an estimated $146 million, and had no statistically significant effect on per capita income or tax receipts.

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