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Publication Information

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Title: Land use changes: economic, social, and environmental impacts

Author: Wu, JunJie;

Date: 2008

Source: Choices. 23(4): 6-10

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Land use provides many economic and social benefits but often comes at a substantial cost to the environment. Although most economic costs are figured into land use decisions, most environmental externalities are not. These environmental externalities cause a divergence between private and social costs for some land uses, leading to an inefficient land allocation. For example, developers may not bear all the environmental and infrastructure costs generated by their projects. Such market failures provide a justification for private conservation efforts and public land use planning and regulation.

Keywords: land use decisions, urban development, conversion of farmland and forests, environmental externalities

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Wu, J. 2008. Land use changes: economic, social, and environmental impacts. Choices. 23(4): 6-10.


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