Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Economics and Finance

Department name when degree awarded



W. Cris Lewis


Land resources are a valuable resource in the economic system. There exists considerable controversy surrounding the allocation of land into the competing land uses. At the heart of this controversy are agricultural land resources. The purpose of this paper is to investigate, first theoretically and second empirically, the effectiveness of controls placed on land use to keep land in agricultural production.

A theoretical conclusion is reached as to whether the free market or 1 and-use controls allocate land resources more efficiently. An empirical model is formulated to explain changes in the quantity of agricultural land as a function of several hypothesized explanatory variables, one of which is a land-control dummy variable to measure the effectiveness of agricultural land-use controls.

The general conclusion reached is that for the most part, the controls have been ineffective. Where they have been effective in influencing land-use allocation, questions still exist concerning the cost imposed upon society from the control influenced land allocation.

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