Publication Date

5-2017

Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)

3-1-2017

Type of Culminating Activity

Thesis

Degree Title

Master of Arts in Political Science

Department

Political Science

Major Advisor

Jeffrey Lyons, Ph.D.

Advisor

Michail Fragkias, Ph.D.

Advisor

Michael Allen, Ph.D.

Abstract

Urbanization and land use change are widespread phenomena and the primary drivers of global ecological change. Researchers from both the social and natural sciences have investigated the effects that land use change has on environmental services and the effectiveness of regulatory bodies in mitigating its harmful impacts. Although there is research on local governmental bodies and their effectiveness in controlling land use change, county governments have often been overlooked. In this article, I study the effectiveness of county governments in controlling land use change using a regression discontinuity design (RDD). The RDD is a quasi-experimental approach that provides stronger support for claims of causality than basic regression analysis. I use the RDD along with multinomial and binary logit estimation to study the capacity of the Ada County government to control land use change in the Treasure Valley, Idaho.

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