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Abstract

A conceptual model links agricultural profits, capital gains, interest rates, and property taxes to the sale of agricultural land by profit-maximizing owners. The model motivates an empirical analysis of New Jersey data from 1949 to 1990. Results suggest that nonagricultural considerations may overpower the economic incentives provided by such policies as farmland assessment. Consequently, alternative policies (e.g., purchase of development rights and land use zoning) may be needed to sustain agriculture in rapidly urbanizing areas.

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