Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Agricultural Economics

First Advisor

Lonnie R. Vandeveer


Rural land, exchanged for its productive or consumptive value, is considered to be a differentiated product with varying characteristics. Multivariate procedures and hedonic price analysis were used to evaluate the impact of rural land characteristics on rural land prices across homogeneous rural land market areas in Louisiana. Multivariate methods of principal component analysis and cluster analysis were used to group 59 Louisiana parishes into eight rural land submarkets based on 13 physical and socio-economic variables. Using a mail survey technique, 948 Louisiana rural land sales were collected. A geographic information system (GIS) analysis of these 948 sales indicated that sales were dispersed throughout the state. Geo-referencing the location of each reported sale allowed the examination of location and soil attributes that were expected to influence rural land values. A two-stage hedonic pricing approach was used to analyze the relationship between rural land characteristics and per acre land prices within the rural land submarkets identified. Results presented in this study suggest that Louisiana rural land submarkets are well-formed, non-overlapping entities made up of parishes that are primarily contiguous. The collection of 948 sales of rural land in Louisiana indicated that substantial variation in rural real estate prices exists across the state. A large portion of this variation is attributed to the types of commodities produced, locational factors, and other tract characteristics. Results from first-stage hedonic models indicated that percent of cropland, percent pastureland, value of improvements, amount of road frontage, percent of mineral rights, paved access road, presence of government program crop base acreage, and general soil type all had statistically significant and positive influences on per acre land values. Other variables, such as size of tract, percent timberland, and distance to the largest town in the parish, were found to have a statistically significant inverse relationship with per acre land values.