Journal of Environmental Economics and Management
Utah Agricultural Experiment Station Projects UTAO1360; Utah Agricultural Experiment Station Projects UTAO1306; USDA Regional Research Project W-4133
Utah Agricultural Experiment Station; USDA Regional Research Project
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
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.
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 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeem.2019.03.004