Abstract

Under heavy development pressure, farmland is rapidly being converted to non-agricultural uses such as houses, roads, and recreational facilities. A great deal of research has investigated these farmland losses and their associated drivers. However, the existing empirical studies have neglected two important issues related to farmland conversion: spillover effects from neighboring areas and the impacts of farmland fragmentation. This study incorporates fragmentation and neighboring impacts into the farmland conversion analysis and provides new insights for the land-use/cover change literature. Empirical results indicate that increases in fragmentation further encourage farmland conversion to urban uses, but the effects are not linear with decreasing marginal influences. Land-use activities and decisions have strong spillover effects on neighboring areas. Ignoring this externality could result in biased results and thus misleading policy decisions and recommendations.

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