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Effects of Poverty on Deforestation: Distinguishing behaviour from location

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Author Info

  • Suzi Kerr
  • Alexander Pfaff
  • Romina Cavatassi

    (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)

  • Benjamin Davis

    (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)

  • Leslie Lipper

    (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)

  • Arturo Sanchez
  • Jason Timmins

Abstract

We summarize existing theoretical claims linking poverty to rates of deforestation and then examine this linkage empirically for Costa Rica during the 20th century using an econometric approach that addresses the irreversibilities in deforestation. Our data facilitate an empirical analysis of the implications for deforestation of where the poor live. Without controlling for this, impacts of poverty per se are confounded by richer areas being different from the areas inhabited by the poor, who we expect to find on more marginal lands, for instance less profitable lands. Controlling for locations’ characteristics, we find that poorer areas are cleared more rapidly. This result suggests that poverty reduction aids forest conservation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA) in its series Working Papers with number 04-19.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fao:wpaper:0419

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Postal: Agricultural Sector in Economic Development Service FAO Viale delle Terme di Caracalla 00153 Rome Italy
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Fax: +39 06 57055522
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Web page: http://www.fao.org/es/esa/
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Related research

Keywords: Climate; Climate observations; Costa Rica; Deforestation; Forest management; Nature conservation; Poverty;

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  1. Somin and Lambert on the responsible use of the precautionary principle
    by lkiesling in knowledge problem on 2009-12-12 15:39:41
  2. Climate Change and the Non-Sensical Precautionary Principle
    by Thom Lambert in Truth on the Market on 2009-12-11 16:31:06
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Cited by:
  1. Reetz, Sunny W.H. & Schwarze, Stefan & Bruemmer, Bernhard, 2012. "Poverty and Tropical Deforestation by Smallholders in Forest Margin Areas: Evidence from Central Sulawesi, Indonesia," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126326, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  2. Suzi Kerr & Simon Anastasiadis & Alex Olssen & William Power & Levente Tímár & Wei Zhang, 2012. "Spatial and Temporal Responses to an Emissions Trading System Covering Agriculture and Forestry: Simulation Results from New Zealand," Working Papers 12_10, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.

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