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Abstract

This paper examines the impact of Ontario’s Greenbelt legislation, a land use policy that permanently protects over 1.8 million acres of land from non-agricultural development, on farmers’ exit and investment decisions. A farm-level panel data set for 32,512 farms in Ontario is used to perform two econometric estimations: a correlated random effects Probit model of farm exit and a dynamic unobserved effects Tobit model of farm investment. The Greenbelt policy is found to have influenced both farm exit and farm investment decisions, with the impact varying depending on location within the Greenbelt. In particular, the results indicate evidence of a negative impact on farm investment, which is contrary to one of the objectives of the Greenbelt policy.

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