Seminar Room 1, Espais de Recerca (ERE) Duration: 20 minutes Abstract: All along the Spanish democratic era, the country’s coast experienced massive urbanization. On average, 2.2 hectares of lands have been converted [...]
Seminar Room 1, Espais de Recerca (ERE)
Duration: 20 minutes
Abstract: All along the Spanish democratic era, the country’s coast experienced massive urbanization. On average, 2.2 hectares of lands have been converted every day between 1987 and 2011 within its first 500-meter fringe. Rather moderated rates of conversion would be expected from a social planner in the presence of such a public good. Nonetheless, in Spain, most of the responsibility for urban development falls on politically fragmented local governments who plan for future land use. That is, urban development responsibilities within a given coastal segment are mainly shared among municipalities. In this paper, we document how political fragmentation impacts on coastal development. First, we find that land conversion is significantly less important in jurisdictions whom local government is held by a similar party or a similar coalition than its neighbors. This suggests that politically aligned local governments engage in inter-jurisdictional cooperation over land development when they are faced with environmental amenities. Second, it appears that vertical alignment – that is to say, when local governments are held by a party belonging to a ruling regional coalition, does not impact on the amount of land converted. This seems to indicates that upper-tie governments have a limited influence on municipal urbanization policies. Finally, we show that local right-wing government are more likely to engage in cooperation proxied by political alignment. We motivate this result by arguing that cooperation is less likely to arise among governments whom ideology suggests that they are less prone to land conversion.
Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Barcelona
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