Carruthers, John Mclaughlin, Ralph Boarnet, Marlon
Year of Publication:
46th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Enlargement, Southern Europe and the Mediterranean", August 30th - September 3rd, 2006, Volos, Greece
This paper evaluates growth management in Florida by using a land use based regional adjustment model to project adjustments toward equilibrium densities of population and employment at the county level. The analysis utilizes a unique data set that contains detailed information on initial outcomes of the 1992 plan review in the State of Florida. These plan review outcomes are interacted with adjustment variables to test the hypothesis that Growth Management-specific policies have affected equilibrium adjustments in the following time period. The analysis is motivated by three specific research questions: Has Florida's (1985) Growth Management Act increased changes in density during any of the three year time periods? Does plan compliance affect the growth trajectories of approved counties? And, finally, does the inclusion of optional plan elements further affect these growth trajectories? The findings suggest that compliance with state growth management mandates in Florida may push the adjustment process toward higher population densities in the1992-1997 time period. Additionally, the inclusion of an optional educational plan element may also push adjustments toward higher density. The results indicate that growth management efforts to address the technical planning process, as well as human capital needs, can increase the desirability, and thus the density, of sprawling counties in the Atlantic Southeast. Finally, because population and employment growth are jointly determined in the Atlantic Southeast, the long-term sustainability of economic development in Florida may depend on policies that preserve its desirability as a place to live. This paper elaborates upon work by Carruthers, McLaughlin, and Boarnet (2006) that shows Florida's growth trajectory during the early 1990's was significantly different than the Atlantic Southeast region.