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date: 23 May 2022

(p. xiii) Preface

(p. xiii) Preface

Land use change is arguably one of the most pervasive socioeconomic forces affecting ecological systems, economic systems, and human wellbeing. Almost all major environmental problems, including climate change, water pollution, and habitat destruction, are rooted in land use change. Many socioeconomic phenomena, such as urban sprawl, suburbanization, urban redevelopment, and economic segregation, are also deeply ingrained in land use change. In response to the great need to study these environmental and socioeconomic phenomena, many new developments have taken place in the field of land economics during the past decade, justifying a new handbook in the field.

This volume draws on recent advances in several literatures that investigate land use behavior and policy, including natural resource economics, environmental economics, regional science, and urban economics. The contributors of this volume are the eminent scholars in the field and the newer experts, who work at the frontier of the field. Starting from inherited theories and analyses, this forward-looking handbook seeks to become a “must” reading, not only for those who are new to the field, but also for those who want to extend their knowledge to the frontier of land economics.

There are various ways to use this handbook. This comprehensive treatment of land economics provides an excellent source of readings for a graduate course in land or resource economics. Although the length and diversity of methods may make it difficult to cover in a single semester course, instructors may seek to focus on a subset of chapters. For instance, a course might be structured around the chapters on the ecosystem services of land and a few related methods chapters. Or, the focus might be on cutting edge methods in land economics, supplementing the methods chapters with seminal articles in general economics on equilibrium modeling, auction theory, and specific econometric techniques. Researchers and policy analysts will find that the book offers the state-of-the-art in land economics research. The depth of coverage on the methods chapters offers researchers a structure for setting up their own analyses. The applied chapters can serve either as a starting point for learning about markets and incentive problems associated with land topics, or as a source of citable research results and synthetic conclusions from experts in the area. Those with less familiarity with economics can also use this handbook to understand what is known and unknown on a given topic area. This will help noneconomists, policy makers, and grant funders to articulate better hypotheses, policy goals, and funding opportunities.

We are profoundly grateful to our chapter authors for their outstanding contributions to this handbook. We also acknowledge the insights of our colleagues around the world, who inspire us with their research and collegiality. Among a very long list, we would (p. xiv) like to single out Daniel Bromley and Kathy Segerson as our mentors, who shaped our lives—research and otherwise—at a deep level and to whom we owe a great debt. We would also like to recognize the other leading lights in our professional lives, including Emery N. Castle, Richard M. Adams, Bill Boggess, and David Zilberman. Finally, we thank our friends and colleagues for their advice and encouragement during the long process, especially Titus Awokuse, Kathleen Bell, Rob Johnston, Lori Lynch, Kent Messer, and George Parsons. Finally, we are grateful for the support of our Universities, whose combined land grant missions have promoted the advancement of integrated land economics research.

Joshua M. Duke, Newark, Delaware

JunJie Wu, Corvallis, Oregon