Understanding the multidimensionality of property rights orientations: Evidence from Utah and Texas ranchers
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In the United States, the nature and limits of private property rights have been central themes in natural resource debates over issues such as rural land use control, public and private rangeland management, and endangered species preservation. In most of these debates, private property owners are characterized as favoring strong protection of private property rights and resisting efforts to condition their rights against the interests of society. Surprisingly, there has been very little systematic empirical study about how landowners actually view their private property rights. This article uses a sample of Utah and Texas rangeland owners to explore the complexity and socioeconomic correlates of property rights orientations. We find that landowners' views of their property rights can be described with four distinct dimensions. Moreover, property rights orientations are related to differences in landowners' demographic characteristics, ties to land and community, and place of residence. Copyright 2005 Taylor & Francis Inc.