Large, landscape-scale national monuments have long been controversial. It has been claimed that large monuments harm local economies by restricting growth of the grazing, timber, mining, and energy industries. Others have asserted that large monuments aid economic growth by reducing reliance on volatile commodity markets and fostering tourism growth. In this study, we use a synthetic control approach to measure the average causal effect of nine national monument designations on county-level per capita income. We find no evidence that monument designation affected per capita income in any of 20 counties hosting nine large (>50,000 acres) national monuments established under the Antiquities Act (six monuments) or by legislative action (three monuments). The broad economic claims of both advocates and critics of large national monuments have little empirical support. The absence of a designation effect for large national monuments is likely due to the attributes of federal land and the legal constraints under which it is managed.

Author ORCID Identifier

Paul M Jakus



Document Type




File Format

.csv, .txt

Viewing Instructions

Software program R is needed to use data.

Publication Date



Utah Agricultural Experiment Station; USDA Regional Research Project


Utah State University

Award Number

Utah Agricultural Experiment Station Projects UTAO1360; Utah Agricultural Experiment Station Projects UTAO1306; USDA Regional Research Project W-4133


Data files were collected from areas listed below. The Main file contains the R code.

Main code.txt General R code for sythetic control analysis nine individual National Monument datafiles All data files have data from 1970 until 2015

CA - Carrizo Plain.csv County-level data for analysis of Carrizo Plain NM, CA

CA - Giant Sequoia.csv County-level data for analysis of Giant Sequoia NM, CA

CA - Santa Rosa.csv County-level data for analysis of Santa Rosa and San Jacinto NM, CA

CO.csv County-level data for analysis of Canyon of the Ancients NM, CO

MT.csv County-level data for analysis of Upper Missouri River Breaks NM, MT

OR Cascade.csv County-level data for analysis of Cascade-Siskiyou NM, OR

OR - Newberry.csv County-level data for analysis of Newberry NVM, OR

WA - Hanford.csv County-level data for analysis of Hanford Reach NM, WA

WA - Mt. Saint Helen.csv County-level data for analysis of Mt. Saint Helens NVM, WA

Referenced by

Jakus, P.M., and S.B. Akhundjanov The Antiquities Act, national monuments, and the regional economy J. Environmental Economics and Management 95(2019):102-117 ; also available at



Code Lists

See the attached file variable_names_defs_General_NM _project.csv for list of variables in each data file.


Agricultural and Resource Economics


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



Additional Files

README.txt (1 kB)
MD5: 67aeb863997c9edcb962416663858352

Main code.txt (6 kB)
MD5: e0f126d8716a6427b4533a6a242034d3

CA - Carrizo Plain.csv (654 kB)
MD5: c991e9b7c06ed7145e86faaf130085dd

CA - Giant Sequoia.csv (654 kB)
MD5: 5b323b31f2e2d8df6b19f14b8ed5fddc

CA - Santa Rosa.csv (654 kB)
MD5: d03e4389eac023f9f815cdea4442bf49

CO.csv (733 kB)
MD5: caf58502f28935c5d96fdcb045b19baf

MT.csv (599 kB)
MD5: 47646bac301be1c4bf5176e36e0a814f

OR - Cascade.csv (364 kB)
MD5: 4822e0f47aab5f5e6519d647a1f3b2f2

OR - Newberry.csv (364 kB)
MD5: 92c76321425b39ebd5378a985c6ffc48

WA - Hanford.csv (460 kB)
MD5: f4aadbb73b6695a4337113928485829e

WA - Mt. Saint Helen.csv (460 kB)
MD5: 44f2e8ba9739ed77460ffc4a38497289

variable_names_defs_General_NM _project.csv (2 kB)
MD5: a0d8e179ac31e060cbf5ced7c9dd64fd