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Property rights and deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon

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Author Info

  • Claudio ARAUJO

    ()
    (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International)

  • Catherine ARAUJO BONJEAN

    ()
    (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International)

  • Jean-Louis COMBES

    ()
    (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International)

  • Pascale COMBES MOTEL

    ()
    (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International)

  • Eustaquio J. REIS

    (IPEA - Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada)

Abstract

This paper focuses on the impact of property rights insecurity on deforestation in the Brazilian Legal Amazon. Deforestation is considered as a risk management strategy: property rights insecurity reduces the present value of forests and fosters forest conversion into agricultural and pasture lands. Moreover, deforestation is the consequence of strategic interactions between landowners and squatters. Landowners clear the forest preventively in order to assert the productive use of land and to reduce the expropriation risk. Squatters invade land plots, clear the forest and may afterwards gain official recognition with formal property titles. A particular attention is paid to the measure of land property rights insecurity in the Brazilian context. It is assumed that property rights insecurity has a multidimensional character taken into account by the number of homicides related to land conflicts and expropriation procedures. Principal component analysis allows synthesising such information. An econometric model of deforestation is estimated on a panel dataset on the 1988-2000 period and the nine states of the Brazilian Legal Amazon. The hypothesis that insecure land property rights contribute to higher rates of deforestation is not rejected when the simultaneity bias between insecure property rights and deforestation is addressed. This result questions the modality of the Brazilian land reform that considers forested areas as unproductive and thus open for expropriation procedures.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CERDI in its series Working Papers with number 200820.

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Length: 30
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cdi:wpaper:1023

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Related research

Keywords: deforestation; insecure property rights; Brazilian Legal Amazon;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jorge Hargrave & Krisztina Kis-Katos, 2013. "Economic Causes of Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon: A Panel Data Analysis for the 2000s," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 54(4), pages 471-494, April.
  2. Weslem Faria & Alexandre Almeida, 2011. "Agricultural Expansion, Openness to Trade and Deforestation at the Brazilian Amazon: A Spatial Econometric Analysis," ERSA conference papers ersa11p1013, European Regional Science Association.
  3. Galinato, Gregmar I. & Galinato, Suzette P., 2013. "The short-run and long-run effects of corruption control and political stability on forest cover," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 153-161.
  4. Holland, Margaret B. & de Koning, Free & Morales, Manuel & Naughton-Treves, Lisa & Robinson, Brian E. & Suárez, Luis, 2014. "Complex Tenure and Deforestation: Implications for Conservation Incentives in the Ecuadorian Amazon," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 21-36.
  5. Jérôme Trotignon, 2012. "Les émissions de CO2 du Brésil - L'impact du secteur UTCATF (usage des terres, changement d'affectation des terres et foresterie)," Working Papers halshs-00746524, HAL.
  6. Jérôme Trotignon, 2012. "Les émissions de CO2 du Brésil- L’impact du secteur UTCATF (usage des terres, changement d’affectation des terres et foresterie)," Working Papers 1232, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  7. Mina Baliamoune-Lutz, 2012. "Trade and Environmental Quality in African Countries: Do Institutions Matter?," ICER Working Papers 14-2012, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
  8. Aklin, Michaël & Bayer, Patrick & Harish, S.P. & Urpelainen, Johannes, 2013. "Understanding environmental policy preferences: New evidence from Brazil," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 28-36.

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