Identifying Drivers of Land Use Change in China: A Spatial Multinomial Logit Model Analysis

Man Li, JunJie Wu and Xiangzheng Deng


This paper presents an empirical analysis of major drivers of land use change in China from 1988 to 2005. We compile a geographic information system database and develop a new method to estimate an econometric land use model that explicitly takes into account the spatial interactions between land use decisions. Results indicate that increasing urban land value was a major driver of farmland development, while rising rural income was a primary driver of conversion of farmland to forests and grassland. The growth of urban income and road density reduces grassland conversion but increases deforestation. (JEL Q15, R14)

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