Three Essays on Non-Balanced Economic Growth, Economic Geography, and the Regulation of Public Land in the United States
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This dissertation is comprised of three essays. The first essay, "The Spatial Consequences of Non-Balanced Growth," develops a theoretical model of regional development to analyze the consequences of non-balanced growth for the spatial distribution of population and production. The essay focuses on the spatial consequences of deindustrialization, where deindustrialization refers to the increase in the service sector's share of total employment over time. This essay demonstrates that the presence of non-balanced growth at the national level has implications for both regional population movements and the long-run distribution of population between regions, as well as for several of the relationships between regional economic activity and regional population growth that are emphasized in the previous literature.
The second essay, "Non-Balanced Growth in the United States: Evaluating Supply-Side versus Demand-Side Explanations," develops and calibrates a dynamic general equilibrium model that integrates supply-side and demand-side explanations for NBG, and uses it to evaluate the extent to which the two explanations for NBG can account for patterns of NBG consistent with the "Kuznets" and "Kaldor" facts in the post-war United States. This essay demonstrates that it is necessary to consider both explanations for non-balanced growth to generate patterns of sectoral output and employment growth that are qualitatively consistent with the Kuznets facts as they occurred in the United States over the study period. In addition, the model generates equilibrium dynamics that are broadly consistent with the Kaldor facts for a wide range of different parameterizations.
The third essay, "Regulatory Policy Design for Agroecosystem Management on Public Rangelands," analyzes regulatory design for agroecosystem management on public rangeland. It presents an informational and institutional environment where three of the most prominent regulatory instruments on public rangelands -- input regulation, cost-sharing/taxation, and performance regulation -- can be defined and compared. The essay examines how the optimal regulation is shaped by informational asymmetries between ranchers and regulators within federal land management agencies, limitations on the ability of regulators to monitor ranch-level ecological conditions, and constraints on regulators' actions due to budget limitations and restrictions on the level of penalties they can assess.