Farmland Retention Techniques: Property Rights Implications and Comparative Evaluation

Joshua M. Duke and Lori Lynch


A conceptual framework distinguishes farmland retention institutions and with a survey of various literatures, interviews, and original policy design, classifies 28 techniques in four types: regulatory, incentive-based, governmental-participatory, and hybrid. The analysis reveals that techniques often perceived to be incentive-based, such as PDR/PACE and TDR, are better understood as participatory and hybrid techniques, respectively. Likely fiscal impacts, stakeholder acceptability, and implementation challenges are assessed. The framework suggests that when governments select multiple techniques, attention should be paid to the implied allocation of property rights to maintain coherent land-use policy and minimize property rights conflicts. (JEL Q15, Q24)

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