"Money or Nothing" - FSU Takings Conference Paper:
Like Ilya, I will be presenting a paper this weekend at the Florida State University conference on "Takings: The Uses and Abuses of Eminent Domain and Land Use Regulation." Whereas Ilya will be focusing on eminent domain, I will be focusing on regulatory takings, specifically questioning whether environmental values are served by denying landowners compensation for the costs of environmental land-use controls that deny them the productive use of their land. My paper is titled "Money or Nothing: The Adverse Environmental Consequences of Uncomepnsated Regulatory Takings." I have not yet posted it on SSRN (or elsewhere) because there are still a few rough patches I'd like to fix, but I've reproduced the working version of the abstract below:
The conventional wisdom holds that requiring compensation for environmental land-use controls would severely limit environmental protection efforts. Yet there are reasons to question this assumption. Economic theory and empirical research both demonstrate that failing to compensate private landowners for the costs of environmental regulations discourages voluntary conservation efforts and can encourage the destruction of environmental resources. At the same time, failing to require compensation means that land-use regulation is “underpriced” as compared to other environmental protection measures for which government agencies must pay. This results in the “overconsumption” of land-use regulations relative to other environmental protection measures that could be more cost-effective at advancing conservation goals than uncompensated land-use regulations. While any specific compensation proposal would present implementation questions, there are reasons to believe that a compensation requirement could produce net benefits for environmental conservation.