Gradual Land-use Change in New Zealand: Results from a Dynamic Econometric Model

Rural land use is important for New Zealand's economic and environmental outcomes. Using a dynamic econometric model and recent New Zealand data, we estimate the response of land use to changing economic returns as proxied by relevant commodity prices.

Because New Zealand is small, export prices are credibly exogenous. We show that land use responses can be slow. Our result implies that policy-induced land-use change is likely to be slow or costly.