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COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE

COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE

enefits of preserving

enefits of preserving environment do not come immediately; rather those will belong to the next generation. The educated people may take risk of high payment for the better environment that will only be enjoyed in the future (Kahn and Matsusaka 1997). This high socio/economic status may be interpreted in a reverse logic. Local governments with low socioeconomic status may tend to pursue employment-producing development (Feiock and Kim 2000; Fleischman et al. 1992). In addition, local governments with lower tax bases and revenues face fiscal pressures, which make local governments incline to seek more industries and commercials to generate more money (Sharpe 1992). Race could be the other important predictor for pro-environmental land use policy. There have been a lot of literatures regarding the relationship between races and the pro-environmental policies (especially in environmental policy literature). Generally, African-American and Latino population are believed to be less embracing of “postmaterialist” values, thus making them more tend to support economic development policies and less likely to support pro-environmental policies (Lewis and Neiman 2002). While white has more shared interests about preserving environment, minorities do not have quite concerns about environmental harms 34 . However, even though these explanations provide the orientation of a certain race, they don’t explain how they could be interest groups influencing the policy making process. Mancur Olson’s (1965) collective action theory gives a useful perspective of this. He argues that some groups, especially ones that are more homogeneous in social attributes, are easier to organize because transaction and information costs are minimized and because they can better monitor the conformity of individual group members to group activities. When a community is white dominated, the homogeneous nature of community reduce the transaction costs to organize and do collective action toward pro-environmental land use policy change. 34 Environmental justice literature criticizes the cause of different preferences among races. They argue that minorities could be more supportive because they have been already exposed to greater environmental harms, not because of the difference of preference (Dowie 1995; Donovan and Neiman 2002). Meanwhile, political economists agree with that argument. However, they usually find the cause of difference from minorities’ lack of political resources that help their preference be articulated in a policy (Feiock 2002; Lubell et al 2002). 39

Another explanation comes from voting behavior scholars (Huckfeldt 1979; Kenny 1992). They argue that social contexts are closely related to people’s attention on the political issues. They argue that residents in a community may be more active to participate in political decision making process when their preferences are homogenous, which reflects a class identification. So, homogeneity of a community increases the possibility for citizens to participate in decision making process (Clingermayer and Feiock 1994). In addition, whites have relative advantage of political resources to articulate their political demand. H2-1: Shared environmental interests such as homogenous population, higher per capita personal income, homeownership, and educational attainment levels will increase the likelihood of the pro-environmental amendments to local comprehensive plan Shared Development Interest Many economic development and land use policy literatures hold that business and developers’ interest influence greatly over local land use policy (Elkin 1985; Feiock 2002, 2004; Logan and Molotch 1987; Fleischmann and Pierannunzi 1990; Stone 1989; Lubell et al. 2005). While pro-environmental interests are diffused and unorganized, development interests such as construction and real estate industries are well and easily organized to become a strong pro-developmental interest group. Lubell et al. (2002) argue that because the development interests are well organized and better financed, their voices are dominant in the policy decision making process. Another cause of development interest’ influence is that they share a large portion of perceived importance to local economies. Local communities already have perceived dominant interests in economic development (Schneider 1989; Schneider et al. 1995; Peterson 1981). Local governments are predisposed to support development of land because of fiscal well-beings (Elkins 1985; Logan and Molotch 1987; Peterson 1981; Tibout 1956). Especially when a local community suffers from economic hardships, their influence to the local economy and governments should not be negligible. Because of 40

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