Northwest forest plan effects on county net migration and employment growth : causality of policy variables, timing of response, relevant time periods, rural vs. metro policy effects and effects on industry employment Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/m039k897v

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  • County-level net migration and employment growth rates associated with the Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP) are examined. The NWFP area encompasses federal land in 53 Oregon, Washington and California counties; 20 counties adjacent to NWFP counties are also included in the sample. The NWFP was enacted in December of 1993, however, this analysis examines the 24 year time period from 1980 through 2003. Net migration (the change in population due to in-migration and out-migration) and employment growth are represented by a simultaneous equation model (SEM) that is corrected for spatial autocorrelation. While the NWFP land allocations are expected to influence net migration and employment growth, they are potentially determined by similar processes as the endogenous economic indicators. Logistic regression analysis shows the probability that NWFP lands were allocated to biodiversity purposes or to land uses subject to timber harvest depends on natural, political and economic variables. The SEM is run on a yearly basis to explore changes in net migration and employment growth due to policy enactment, future expectations about land allocations, and market fluctuations. These results suggest the time period was characterized by many changes the endogenous variables from the effects of land management. In addition, the yearly analysis suggests that variation in yearly employment growth and net migration may not be sufficient for precise estimation of the effects of the exogenous variables. Pooling the yearly data over policy-relevant time periods is thus appropriate and provides insight into the NWFP effects on the economic indicators. Counties with more land reserved for biodiversity purposes had higher net migration and employment growth. In contrast, counties with more land allocated to extractive uses experienced low net migration. During the period following NWFP enactment, from 1994 to 2003, the classification of land according to NWFP management yields no significant relationship, suggesting adjustment to the NWFP had occurred. The effects of land management variables for rural and metropolitan counties are distinguished in another SEM. Contrary to the popular notion that employment effects were felt in large part by rural counties, this analysis shows changes in employment growth due to policy effects were felt primarily in metropolitan counties within the NWFP region. In addition, higher net migration occurred in rural and metropolitan counties containing land reserved for biodiversity purposes. These counties also experienced a simultaneous increase in employment growth as a result of allocation of these lands. Analysis of employment growth changes in specific industry sectors indicates manufacturing jobs were lost, however, service industry growth was encouraged as a result of NWFP land allocations. In addition, land allocated solely for the purpose of biodiversity services was not associated with changes in the manufacturing employment while potentially promoting growth in service sector employment.
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