1932

Abstract

We highlight the extraordinary growth in private conservation via land trusts and conservation easements and describe the problems arising from the interplay of public finance and private decisions. We offer a framework for understanding the popularity of easements and land trusts and for evaluating policy reforms aimed at improving their performance. The framework, grounded in institutional and organizational economics in the tradition of Ronald Coase, Oliver Williamson, and Yoram Barzel, focuses on the measurement and monitoring costs faced by public and private stakeholders under current and prospective policy arrangements. We illustrate how the framework can be applied to contemporary debates about the appropriate tax treatment of donated easements, requirements that they be held in perpetuity, and the extent to which government should regulate private land trusts.

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2019-10-05
2024-04-17
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